Othello – An Early English Rose

This is one of the earlier of the Austin English roses. Bred in 1986, it is no longer actively marketed due to it being superceded by better varieties. That means you may find it difficult to get a bush from a commercial nursery. Your best bet is to find somebody with a plant and beg a few cuttings from it.

The Othello rose
The Othello rose

Why no Longer Marketed?

While there are many great things about the Othello rose, it does have a few drawbacks. On the plus side, it has massive fragrant blooms, that start off deep scarlet and then fade to various shades of pink and purple. Just wonderful!

The negatives are that is one time bloomer. A big flush in early summer, and then very little for the rest of the season. Fantastic while it lasts, but your canes will be bare by late summer. It is also a little prone to some of the common diseases, so it’s going to need a bit more attention than some of the other English varieties. And finally, it does tend to be a bit on the thorny side.

But if you can overlook these things, then it’s certainly worth growing. IF you can find it, that is. I’ve had my eye open for a specimen for a while now, and no luck yet.

  • Class: English, shrub
  • Origin: Breeder David Austin, 1989
  • Habit: Shrub
  • Blooms: Medium, double, cup shaped. Fragrant, no repeat
  • Parentage: Lillian Austin x The Squire