Frank Benardella, Rose Breeder
"The Rose Man"
(July 5, 1932 - January 30, 2010)

By Kitty Belendez
Master Rosarian

We were saddened to hear about the passing of great rose hybridizer Frank Benardella on January 30, 2010 in Englewood, NJ after battling cancer. He was 77. Not only was Frank a truly nice guy, but he created some awesome roses, at least 18 of which were Award of Excellence winners..

Frank enjoyed hanging out in the rose forums on the internet, and he was friendly with everybody. He liked to stir up the conversation and would pose questions to get the banter going. He wasn't afraid of controversy and would start controversial topics. Frank was friendly with everybody he met, even if a person wasn't on the "A-List." Once, after discussing his roses on an online rose forum, he offered to send a plant to me of one of his new roses. And so he did; the rose was called Liberty Bell.

Frank was a successful rose exhibitor, but that was before my time. He lived in New Jersey with his wife June. He was also President of the American Rose Society many years ago and attended many ARS conventions. Frank retired as Senior Vice President from the large corporation Goody/Rubbermaid.

Probably the very first Benardella rose that I acquired was Black Jade when it was first introduced by Nor'East Miniature Roses in 1985. It's still one of my all-time favorites, and I still grow many of his roses today. 

I was fortunate to discover an orange sport on his red blend 'Pinnacle' floribunda, which I have named and registered as 'Cristina Lynne.'

Over the years I have grown just about every Benardella rose that has been introduced, except Pele and Zebra. I'd like to share here a few photos of some of his roses. Here is a link to a website that I produced in honor of Frank Benardella.


Baby Boomer, Medium Pink, 2003, AoE
Black Jade, Dark Red, 1985, AoE
Bonfire, Red Blend, 2006, AoE
Caliente, Dark Red, 2005, AoE
Figurine, White [lp], 1991m AoE
Hilde, Red Blend, 1999
Jennifer, Pink Blend, 1985, AoE
Jilly Jewel, Medium Pink, 2003
Jim Dandy, Red Blend, 1989
Kristin, Red Blend, 1992, AoE
Magic Show, Red Blend, 2009, AoE
Merlot, Red Blend, 2001, AoE
Old Glory, Medium Red, 1988, AoE
Picotee, Red Blend, 2003, AoE
Radiant, Orange Red, 1988 [climbing mini]
Rosie, Pink Blend, 1987
Ruby, Dark Red, 2002, AoE
Soroptimist International, Pink Blend, 1995

Ambiance, Apricot, 2008, AoE
Deja Bleu, Mauve, 2008, AoE
Double Take, Red Blend, 2008
Flawless, Medium Pink, 2008
Focal Point, Pink Blend, 2008
Leading Lady, White [pb], 2006, AoE
Liberty Bell, Red Blend, 2003
Power Point, Medium Red, 2008, AoE
Show Stopper, Apricot, 2007, AoE
Solar Flare, Yellow Blend, 2004

Zebra, Red Blend, 1995

Pinnacle, Red Blend, 2004

Pele (white Climbing HT, 1979)

© Copyright Kitty Belendez. All rights reserved.

This article was originally published in "Rose Ecstasy," bulletin of Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society, Kitty Belendez, Editor.

Photos © Copyright by Kitty Belendez

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Rose Society
'Leading Lady' Miniflora
Updated October 21, 2019
'Show Stopper' Miniflora Rose
'Jilly Jewel' Miniature Rose

'Pinnacle' Floribunda
'Black Jade' Miniature Rose
'Figurine'  12 Miniature Blooms
'Hilde' Miniature Rose
'Baby Boomer' Miniature Rose
'Picotee' Miniature Rose
'Kristin' Three Sprays
'Kristin' English Box
'Solar Flair' Miniflora
'Kristin' Miniature Rose
'Kristin' Three Sprays
'Kristin' Bush
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