Rosa 'Charles Austin'
|Hybrid parentage||'Chaucer' × 'Aloha'|
|Cultivar group||English rose|
|Marketing names||'Charles Austin'|
|Origin||David Austin, England, 1973|
Rosa 'Charles Austin' (Ausfather) is an apricot rose cultivar bred and introduced by David Austin in England in 1973. The rose was hybridised by crossing the English rose 'Chaucer' (Austin, 1970) with the pink Hybrid Tea 'Aloha' (Boerner 1949) and is named after the breeder's father. It was one of the early English roses.
Double, flat or slightly cupped flowers with a strong, fruity fragrance, and an average diameter of 10 cm (4 inches) appear in small cluster of 3 to 5 in flushes throughout the season. Their colour is an apricot blend, with stronger colours at the petal base, fading to cream at the edges. The flowers have about 70 petals arranged in a quartered bloom form, with the outer ones lighter than the inner ones, and are well suited as cut flowers.
The tall and bushy shrub can grow well in excess of 200 cm, especially in warmer climates and is somewhat slow to rebloom, especially if not drastically pruned after the first flush. The cultivar has large leaves and fine, red prickles, is winter hardy up to −20 °C (USDA zone 5b – 10b), but susceptible to black spot and mildew. Due to its size, it can be grown as a freestanding shrub, pegged or trained as a small climber.
'Charles Austin' was further used by Austin as a parent rose and fathered the cultivars 'Leander' (1982), 'Graham Thomas' (1983), 'Swan' (1987), 'Brother Cadfael' (1990), 'Golden Celebration' (1992), 'Tradescant' (1993), 'Teasing Georgia' (1998) and 'Benjamin Britten' (2001). In 1981, Austin introduced a sport (mutation) – 'Yellow Charles Austin' – with lemon to golden yellow colours, that fade to cream.
Charles Austin (Ausfather) is one of a number of varieties which has been 'retired' by the David Austin Roses company in favour of other more modern and healthy varieties.
- David Austin's English Roses for the West Coast
- Jim Gardiner (2011) "The Timber Press Encyclopedia of Flowering Shrubs", p. 329 ISBN 978-0-88192-823-5
- Austin, David (1992) Old Roses and English Roses
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