Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Floribunda Rose
Rosa 'White Licorice'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: White Licorice
Additional cultivar information: (aka WEKdidusinra)

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3 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cluster-flowered (incl. Floribunda & Grandiflora)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Bloom Color:
White (w)
Light yellow (ly)

Bloom Shape:
Unknown - Tell us

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Other Details:
Unknown - Tell us

Pruning Instructions:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

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By sixbyseuss
Thumbnail #1 of Rosa  by sixbyseuss

By sixbyseuss
Thumbnail #2 of Rosa  by sixbyseuss


3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JasperDale On Nov 15, 2014, JasperDale from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Here I was all set to write a glowing review of this rose, but "leavenobudbehind" took the words right out of my mouth ! Perfectly said and I agree with him/her 100% on the attributes of this rose.
It also thrives for me in coastal So. Cal. with NO disease issues whatsoever.
Definitely a keeper.

Positive leafnobudbehind On Jun 20, 2014, leafnobudbehind from Chapel Hill, NC wrote:

White Licorice is easily one of my top 10 roses, I consider this Christian Bdard's true masterpiece. This review is going to sound a bit like an advertisement but I am simply a huge fan of this rose and I think it deserves to be hailed as a modern classic (right along with Tahitian Sunset, another favorite 21st century introduction). You gotta like soft yellows and truly unique fragrances however - both a big win for me. The fragrance is as unique and powerful as any David Austin, and the bush itself is such a great plant. This rose has the best of both hybrid teas and floribundas, just that combination of everything good you look for when you research the next member of your garden. It makes a fantastic, slow opening cut flower with a lot of fragrance like a hybrid tea but has the vigor, compact growth habit, and disease resistance you expect from a floribunda. And it just looks great.

So often the most fragrant flowers belong to the UGLIEST leggy plants (I'm looking at you, Mister Lincoln, Double Delight, and Fragrant Cloud) that aren't meant to be seen except in a vase. Not the case with White Licorice. This handsome bush is cloaked in attractive, glossy, dark-green foliage that resists typical rose diseases more successfully than most. This quality makes it equally as fit as an accent for an artistic landscape or a workhorse for the cutting garden. I can not stress enough how compact and healthy this plant looks. Your rose bushes are something you look at every day and something you put a lot of work, money, and love into. Seeing your hard work rewarded with a beautiful bush covered in beautiful flowers with such striking fragrance is one of the most rewarding things in rose gardening (and conversely, working and loving a plant so hard and getting a pitiful shrub that throws up blooms every now and then is one of the most disheartening things a gardener can endure!). So is giving blooms away to everyone - something you'll be able to do plenty of with this rose.

And can we talk about the fragrance itself? This is one of my favorite fragrances in all of roses - a title it shares equally with David Austins and all the classic fragrant HTs. EASILY my favorite floribunda fragrance. Some people compare this to Julia Child. DON'T BELIEVE THEM. Julia Child has a very weak and poorly defined "licorice" fragrance compared to this. White Licorice is easily recognizable as sweet, sweet licorice. No if's and's or but's about it. Weeks says it has a "lemon blossom" scent mixed in with it. If there are any notes of lemon in the fragrance it is easily overpowered by the sweet, pungent smell of licorice. This is a smell you either love or hate as there is little middle ground on something so unique and unexpected. I work at a nursery and show this rose off to anyone looking for a white or yellow or fragrant rose or healthy rose or cut rose - just about everyone! I expect people to smell this and crinkle their face in distaste, as some naturally do. But for those who are true fragrance fanatics (a title I bestow upon those of us who boldly go where no nose has gone before) always surprise me when they exclaim how amazing it smells; Then immediately purchase several.

The blooms themselves are outstanding for a floribunda. I call this the floribunda that could have been a hybrid tea. It has an unusually well-spiraled bloom compared to its floribunda class-mates. It looks just like a hybrid tea in that regard. My only negative note about the bloom form is that the lowest petals do not fold into points (usually called "formal shape"), a highly desirable quality that is fairly unique to the hybrid teas. Don't get me wrong however, the high centered bloom unrolls very slowly - quite unlike a floribunda. Once fully open, the blooms cannot deny their true class and lie flat like any other floribunda bloom but the show they put on while opening makes this a non-issue. Like everything else about this plant, the color is quite unique. In the spring, the blooms have a soft yellow center that gets whiter the further from the center the petal is. Summertime pushes the color a little more to the white side, not unlike the yellow shades of Peace. I'm a sucker for soft yellows and if you are too then this color will definitely win you over.

Overall, you will hear mixed reviews of this plant (as you will any other rose) but the people who dislike it tend to dislike yellows and licorice fragrance. As a bush itself, White Licorice is easily one of the best. As a flower, it is perfect for a yellow lover or a fragrance fanatic. People who do not like it usually just don't like the color or the fragrance - not the plant itself (for example I absolutely hate the bush of First Prize but its bloom is incredible). I highly recommend this plant to my customers and they are so glad to have been shown it.

Positive davebert On Oct 15, 2012, davebert from Durham, NC wrote:

Here is a glorious floribunda that should be considered by anyone interested in growing roses. The plants are very bushy and rounded, about 4' - 5' by seasons end. The blooms come singly or in clusters on stems suitable for cutting and don't require deadheading to repeat bloom well. The disease resistance is great in my central North Carolina yard and the flowers do not ball. Despite the hoopla surrounding this roses fragrance, it isn't discernible to my nose. Otherwise, a keeper.

Negative tuggyowen On May 26, 2012, tuggyowen from Chico, CA wrote:

White Licorice is a rose I will be replacing this year. Although we live in a dry warm climate with mild winters this rose is a black spot magnet. I am not willing to put up with this much blackspot on such an ordinary rose. It does bloom well but I can get a similar white bloom without all the disease. In a well ventilated bed of five Meilland roses this is the only bad actor.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chico, California
Long Beach, California
Carrboro, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina

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