Rosa 'Christopher Marlowe' And Other Warm Pink Austin Roses

'Christopher Marlowe's distinctive yellow button eye:
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'Christopher Marlowe' opens as a nearly coral orange:
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Then the flower quickly fades to a warm pink.  The reverse of the petals is sometimes a soft yellow, most visible in the "button eye":
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The growth habit is octopus (long canes arching outwards like the arms of an octopus), but small for an octopus.  Mine has canes about 4' (1.1 M) long after about five years in this garden.   The flowers also are small for an Austin rose at around 3" (7 cm).  The foliage is softly glossy and a deep apple green.  Resistance to rust and mildew is much better than average.  Prickles are somewhat plentiful.

This rose, except when it first opens, dwells in the same color class as 'Jubilee Celebration', 'The Endeavour', 'William Morris', and the Godfather of warm pink Austin roses, 'Abraham Darby'.  'Abraham Darby' bests all the others by far where fragrance is concerned, but unfortunately also in the matter of vulnerability to Rust.  All of the others have superior Rust resistance in comparison to Abe.  Of the group, 'Jubilee Celebration' is next best in fragrance.  

'Abraham Darby':
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'Jubilee Celebration' begins quite pink, but ages to a warmer shade:
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'Jubilee Celebration' has nothing of the octopus.  The growth habit is small and twiggy, the flowers medium sized.  Multiple plants placed close together form a more satisfying silhouette, even in Southern California.

'The Endeavour' also opens quite pink and also fades to a warmer color.  Fragrance is so-so:  Tea with none of Abe's spectacular citrus (I have no reason to believe they are related).  The flowers are fairly large and have a fluffy quality.

'The Endeavour' sometimes has a touch of yellow reverse:
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The growth habit is curious in my garden, but may be climber-sized in some gardens.  In mine it still fails climb. 

Failing to climb, but lovely any way:
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At the local garden center I've seen it with towering canes crammed into a 3 gallon pot.  The jury continues out on this variety.

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Should you want an Austin rose in the warm pink color range, you have several options.  For disease resistance, any rose but Abe Darby.  For fragrance on a sizable shrubby plant--Abe Darby.

'Abraham Darby':
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A small grower?  'Jubilee Celebration'.  The next smallest?  'Christopher Marlowe'.  Least prickled?  'Jubilee Celebration' (though it is by no means without prickles).   A potential climbing rose?  'The Endeavour', and possibly 'Abraham Darby', if you feed it very well and never prune it much.

But for an irresistibly adorable yellow button eye, your only choice is 'Christopher Marlowe'.

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After all that warm pink, some  blue to cool off.  Clematis'Perle d'Azur':
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Comments

  1. you just can't get close enough to a rose. i always want to climb right inside those petals!

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