Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: English Rose, Austin Rose
Rosa 'Jude the Obscure'

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Jude the Obscure
Additional cultivar information: (aka AUSjo)
Hybridized by Austin; Year of Registration or Introduction: 1989

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One vendor has this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

English Rose (aka Austin Rose)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

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:
Medium yellow (my)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Patent Information:

Other Details:
Resistant to black spot
Resistant to mildew
Resistant to rust

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)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

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

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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6 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Kjani On Mar 13, 2015, Kjani from Gig Harbor, WA wrote:

The best of the best. We run summer guest lodging at our waterfront home and I have one of these in a super large pot on the deck. While she (jude the obscure) is not a show stopper in terms of color of flowers, she has an old-fashioned charm. HOWEVER, the smell draws visitors to her glorious blooms and the scent travels and is unparalled! This is an understatement. This is by far the most delightful smelling rose bar-none. Always people ask for the rose name and WHERE can they buy one. I believe I got mine at heritage roses. While this rose is not something you would plant for show stopping flowers, as a specimen plant out in front for display and passerbys for scent - it is the best-of-the-best and she's a keeper!!! Clean foilage no disease to speak of, hardy and healthy grower and takes pruning well.

Positive lancer23 On Sep 11, 2014, lancer23 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

The most outstanding thing about this rose is the obvious strong fragrance of tropical fruit and gardena. You don't have to guess or wait for the scent; it's very consistent and generous. There's only another rose that I grew can compare to the scent of this rose---Olde Romeo.
Jude has the peachy pink color and a cabbage globe like shape flowers, very interesting. Very healthy leaves but the buds been munch on by insects, which I can't ID. Maybe beetles or worms.
I grew mine from a cutting. It tolerates drought and high wind. Lavender makes a good companion plant. The only weakness this rose have is the petal never fully opens. The bloom stays as a globe shape for the most part and it shatters much too fast for me, roughly 5 days.

Neutral ju1438 On Nov 25, 2012, ju1438 from Redford, MI wrote:

I have Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) growing near my Austin roses, which I have found that the Japanese beetles seem to prefer over the roses.

As for aphids, they seem to gravitate in droves to Swamp Milkweed (Asclepia incarnata), also sparing the nearby roses.

Positive shopshops On Jan 19, 2012, shopshops from Joshua, TX wrote:

Planted this last year(2011) as a memorium to my dearly departed Grandmother. Came as a bare root from David Austen. I was in a lot of pain from sciatica when I planted this rose and was not able to dig as deep or as wide as recommended. However, I did plant in a raised bed with amended clay.

I was pleasantly surprised by my first year blooms. (I planted in late February here in North Texas). my grandmother's birthday was May 5th and I was hoping for a few blooms on her birthday. I was not disappointed for too long. My first year bare root put out her first bloom in late May. The scent was tropical and intoxicating.
The awful 2011Texas drought soon ruined her blooming. But whilst it lasted it was great. Looking forward to bigger blooms and a bushier plant this year.
A definite yes for North Texas.

Positive heartopensky On May 27, 2011, heartopensky from Beacon, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

The appearance of these flowers is gorgeous, almost double-peony like, and large, usually 4-5" in diameter when moderately open. But the fragrance...I have never smelled anything so lovely in my life. Not remotely hybrid-tea smelling...old rose...with some myrrh maybe? A little citrus maybe? *Divine.* Foliage is a gorgeous dark green, teensy blue undertone, and new growth is reddish-bronze. LOVE it.

That said, mine has struggled a bit to establish. Planted two years ago, it has only had three or so blossoms at a time, with not a ton of repeat. And the aphids love it. And the Japanese beetles love it. It's not just yummy to humans, apparently. :-/

This year, however, it's third, I am cautiously optimistic - I have more blooms that ever just waiting to burst forth (10-15) and it is finally at about 2.5' x 1.5' (D.A. says it will be 4' x 4' at maturity). I'd grow it for one bloom a year, however - it is just that good.

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

According to David Austin's 2009 Handbook of Roses, they named this rose after the character in Thomas Hardy's novel of the same name.

Positive dakotaroser On Apr 16, 2006, dakotaroser from Kingston, NH wrote:

This rose was the highlight of all the roses I grew this
past year. Being a first timer with roses you learn fast,
mostly from your mistakes but occassionaly you find a
rose that is perfect. I fed it Mills magic fertilizer and off it went! I had it along the east/south facing
exposure and slightly under the eves of the house so when
it rained it missed most of the beautiful roses. I would have
to agree with one of the reviewers that it is a short lived
rose and rain will make it stay balled up but once it gets
itself established I'm sure there will be many flowers of
all different stages of opening. I couldn't believe a rose
could smell this delicious and that is my major reason for
giving it such a high mark. When you put your face in this
beauty it makes your day, I even had neighbors come over
and smell these and they said the same thing, they've never
had smelled a rose so beautiful and unusal smelling, I
hope it last for years, but I will put more in the yard as I
find them.

Positive Gindee77 On May 7, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This Austin rose has one of the best fragrances of all the Austins. It's got a sweet, juicy, grapefruit scent that's just luscious! I love the soft color of this rose and it does very well in my zone5 garden.

Neutral Petsitterbarb On Jul 9, 2003, Petsitterbarb from Claremore, OK wrote:

This is a rose with probably the best fragrance of any I've ever stuck my nose into. The ONLY reason that I'm rating it as neutral is that the blooms shatter FAR too soon. It lasts such a short time that it's hardly worth cutting them for a vase. I love the rich creamy color, and the plant is quite healthy, but I like the blooms to stay the course!


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

Castro Valley, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
Old Lyme, Connecticut
Bartlett, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Lombard, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Saint Marys, Kansas
Kingston, New Hampshire
Jamesburg, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Beacon, New York
Mogadore, Ohio
Beaverton, Oregon
Portland, Oregon (2 reports)
Austin, Texas
Joshua, Texas
Gig Harbor, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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