The Prince, Austin 1990. Breeding: Lilian Austin X The Squire.
Some 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 Maiden. The 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. Sometimes 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.
merit rating: 7.8
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2004