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The Prince, Austin 1990. Breeding: Lilian Austin X The Squire.

The PrinceSome of my favourite roses are plants bred by the English hybridizer, David Austin, of Albrighton, Shropshire. Since 1961, when Austin introduced his first hybrid, Constance Spry, a cross of the Gallica, Belle Isis and the Floribunda, Dainty Maid, he has earned the distinction of creating a new class of rose. His program is based on merging the Old Roses with the newer Hybrid Teas, and Floribundas. This has been a very sucessful endeavour, and his roses have won the admiration of many Rose enthusiasts worldwide, myself included. The Prince is a recent introduction, and a welcome one. It produces large flowers of a wonderful crimson purple hue, a color nearly absent from the palettes of most modern hybridizers. In part, it has inherited this color through a long line of crimson roses that began with a cross of Tuscany and Dusky MaidenThe color is not unlike that of Tuscany. It also offers a thick, heavy perfume that I count among my very favourites. It is almost identical to the scent of the 1959 Hybrid Tea, Tiffany.

I have to say that although this rose does produce some incredibly beautiful blooms, the plant itself leaves a great deal to be desired. It is stick-like, very upright and sparsely clothed in disease-prone foliage. The PrinceSometimes it is a wonder that it blooms at all, let alone such incredibly beautiful ones. The image above was made using conventional film technology, and it illustrates the problem that  the film did not "see" the color of this rose correctly.  The next photo is taken with a digital camera, which does not have the same problems with color biases. This is true color for these blooms. This is the reason I persist in growing this rose!

Click here, or on the picture at right to see a full sized photo of The Prince.

ARS merit rating: 7.8
Personal merit rating: 7.0
Hardiness: USDA zones 5 to 8, possibly zone 4 in a protected location.
Shrub size: 2 to 3 feet tall, by 2 feet wide.
Fragrance: 4.0, intense rose scent, hints of Old Rose.

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