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Jude the Obscure, Austin 1995. Breeding: Abraham Darby X Windrush

Jude The Obscure is one of the new introductions in David Austin's line of apricot/yellow roses. I don't yet grow this rose, but it is likely that I will include it in my collection this coming year. I have seen it growing in the display gardens of Heirloom Old Garden Roses in St. Paul, Oregon, and it looks like a worthy plant.

I would like to say that I think it is worth excercising caution when evaluating the newest David Austin roses as they appear. Not all of these roses are worth the intense hype they receive, as they have not been evaluated for the various North American climates we have to grow our roses in. Jude, however, is being offered by only a couple of U.S. sources, and heirloom is one of them. They have grown Jude the Obscure in their display gardens for a couple of years now, and it performs very well for them. I am impressed by what I have seen, and would cautiously recommend it for North American gardeners.

I don't know what is being said about this rose' color in catalogs, but as you can see, it is a warm yellow tending towards pale butter at the perimeter, and a warmer apricot/yellow at the center. These photographs were taken in August of last summer, when it was quite hot and dry in Oregon. It may appear in different hues under different conditions. It is less fully double than some of the English roses, opening fully into a deep cup that displays it stamens cautiously. This is a form that I like, but it may not appeal to some folks who would prefer a more double bloom. In that case, Abraham Darby might be more to your liking.

ARS merit rating: none assigned
Personal merit rating: undecided
Hardiness: USDA zones 5 to 9, possibly zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 4 feet tall, by 4 feet wide
Fragrance: 4.0, strong tea and fruit scent

Abraham Darby Gertrude Jekyll St. Swithun
Charlotte* Graham Thomas Sharifa Asma*
Claire Rose* Jayne Austin* Sweet Juliet*
Constance Spry* John Clare Teasing Georgia
Country Living Jude the Obscure* The Prince
Eglantyne* Mayor of Casterbridge Tradescant
Evelyn Othello* William Shakespeare
Fair Bianca Prospero William Shakespeare 2000
Geoff Hamilton St. Cecelia  

Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2004