JOHANNESBURG – A rose been named after former liberation struggle icon and President Nelson Mandela.
The rose was named after the icon as part of the year-long celebration of the centenary of Mandela’s birth.
Mandela, who passed away on 5 December 2013, would have turned 100 on 18 July 2018.
Media statement: A rose named ‘Nelson Mandela’ https://t.co/ZbHw6fPyfQ #BeTheLegacy #RememberingMandela pic.twitter.com/AXFc08Tch0
— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) February 9, 2018
The Nelson Mandela rose was released to launch the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s year-long centenary programme, just a week ahead of Valentine’s Day on 14 February.
Foundation CE Sello Hatang said the Nelson Mandela 100 programme centres on the values embodied by Mandela, of resilience, service and care.
Horticulturist Keith Kirsten, who led the rose’s development, said the idea for the plant came to him in 2000, while on a flight to New York when he happened to be sitting next to Achmat Dangor, the then CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The disease-resilient rose is a tall, orange-vermillion, prolific floribunda which grows to more than a metre in good conditions and is suitable for “any sunny position”, Kirsten said. “I’d like to see us plant lots,” he said.