Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: English Rose, Austin Rose
Rosa 'The Dark Lady'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: The Dark Lady
Additional cultivar information: (aka AUSbloom, Dark Lady)
Hybridized by Austin; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1991

» View all varieties of Roses

One vendor has this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

English Rose (aka Austin Rose)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
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)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Bloom Color:
Dark red (dr)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly


Patent Information:

Other Details:
Resistant to black spot
Resistant to mildew

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By grafting
By budding

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to view:

By Microworld
Thumbnail #1 of Rosa  by Microworld

By Paulwhwest
Thumbnail #2 of Rosa  by Paulwhwest

By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Rosa  by palmbob

By DreamOfSpring
Thumbnail #4 of Rosa  by DreamOfSpring

By zone5girl
Thumbnail #5 of Rosa  by zone5girl

By MiniPonyFarmer
Thumbnail #6 of Rosa  by MiniPonyFarmer

By vossner
Thumbnail #7 of Rosa  by vossner

There are a total of 12 photos.
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4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive DonnaMack On Jul 12, 2014, DonnaMack from Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

II find that this plant forms new growth and flowers very quickly - about once a month. It is more productive with more water, and I situated it on the east side of my property so that it gets afternoon shade. Located there, it is much redder and does not have so much of a tendency to fade to fuschia.

I have two and am ordering a third.

Positive baiissatva On Dec 21, 2009, baiissatva from Dunedin
New Zealand wrote:

Zone 9b, coastal Otago, New Zealand.

Though we have an excellent climate for roses down here, Im finding this variety to be slow to establish and set flowers as compared with my other new roses.
*UPDATE- it was slow to establish but has picked up speed and is now perfectly satisfactory.

Indeed, this is not a red rose. It's an intense blue-flushed magenta and the colour varies widely between blooms, from the 'darkness' of the name to a medium shade, especially with age, but oddly, some buds are much darker than others from the outset.

Looks like it will be quite a low, compact bush compared to my teas. No black spot yet; my 'nana' garden is well ventilated but we're having a cold, damp spring summer thus far and these DA roses are holding up well, contrary to expectation with so many growers complaining that they're pretty but disease prone. I have not found that to be the case, even with mondo aphids infesting the buds etc.
With it's slightly pendant blooms (in my garden) Im finding the petals are not so damaged by rain as some other varieties- in a local nursery, Falstaff, William Shakespeare and Othello are pretty much buggered by the weather, whereas my Dark Lady flower (singular) was unaffected. So if you're in a dodgy spring/rainy locale and are looking for a darker DA rose, this would be my pick.
The foliage is particularly attractive, being elegant, profuse and a pleasing mid green that sits well in a mixed situation.
Fragrance here varies, ranging from medium to strong according to the weather and time of year, Ive found. Never super-strong though, like MMerrill or Sharifa Asma. A soft true old rose scent with nothing whacky or funky about it.

Positive vossner On Dec 28, 2008, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I acquired this rose thinking it was a dark red in color. Instead, it blooms in my garden as an intense pink. Don't know if it is different cameras, or different soils, or what. But mine certainly wasn't the dark red I was expecting. But it is a gorgeous rose. I didn't find mine to be particularly fragrant, but, again, that may depend on time of day, the scent that my nose picks up, etc.

Neutral Joan On Nov 14, 2008, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

According to David Austin's 2009 Handbook of Roses, the name for this rose is from the Dark Lady of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Positive palmbob On Nov 11, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very smelly rose with nearly 100 petals per flower- dark red-purple colored


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

Antioch, California
Elgin, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Louisville, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Alfred, Maine
Kannapolis, North Carolina
Painesville, Ohio
Charleston, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Gilmer, Texas
Richmond, Texas

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