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 Bred in 1986, it is no longer actively marketed due to it being superceded by better varieties.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.

To be honest, I’m not sure that I would grow this. Yes, it has lovely blooms, with a nice fragrance. IF you can actually reach them. Othello has a habit of growing straight up and blooming at the top of 10′ canes, which are well armoured with exceptional thorns (well, prickles if you want the proper terminology). And there is also the fact that it is only once blooming. 

Oh, and I should mention that it is disease prone. All in all, probably not something for my garden, although if you have the space, and don’t mind dealing with the myriad of thorns…

But it’s not all negatives of course. The blooms are lovely, it is well scented like most of the English roses are, and a large bush with the room to grow is a splendid sight. Just not in my garden!

  • Class: English
  • Origin: Breeder David Austin
  • Habit: Shrub, long arching canes
  • Blooms: Large, double, cup shaped. Good fragrace, no repeat
  • Parentage: Lillian Austin x The Squire

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