English Rose, Austin Rose 'Abraham Darby'


Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Abraham Darby
Additional cultivar information:(PP7215, aka Abraham Darby, AUScot, Candy Rain, Country Darby)
Hybridized by Austin
Registered or introduced: 1985
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English Rose (aka Austin Rose)



4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


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)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Bloom Color:

Orange pink (op)

Bloom Shape:




Flower Fragrance:

Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Blooms repeatedly



Trained to climb

Patent Information:

Patent expired

Other Details:

Resistant to black spot

Resistant to mildew

Susceptible 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)

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

By grafting

By budding

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Opelika, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Calistoga, California

Corte Madera, California

Merced, California

Napa, California

Petaluma, California

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

San Jose, California(2 reports)

Santa Rosa, California

Seaside, California

Denver, Colorado

Washington, District of Columbia

Brandon, Florida

Groveland, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Maitland, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Marietta, Georgia

Evanston, Illinois

Hampton, Illinois

Lombard, Illinois

Palmyra, Illinois

Elk Horn, Iowa

Andover, Kansas

Hesston, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Boyce, Louisiana

Coushatta, Louisiana

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Echo, Louisiana

Hammond, Louisiana

Simmesport, Louisiana

Alfred, Maine

Gardiner, Maine

Mashpee, Massachusetts

Turners Falls, Massachusetts

Columbiaville, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Choteau, Montana

Central City, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

Carson City, Nevada

Sparks, Nevada

Brick, New Jersey

Rhinebeck, New York

East Bend, North Carolina

Middlesex, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Loveland, Ohio

Mantua, Ohio

Mogadore, Ohio

Wadsworth, Ohio

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Yukon, Oklahoma

Wilsonville, Oregon

State College, Pennsylvania

North Smithfield, Rhode Island

Chapin, South Carolina

Easley, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Bellaire, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Gilmer, Texas

Melissa, Texas

Paris, Texas

Plano, Texas

Stephenville, Texas

Willis, Texas

Mc Lean, Virginia

Reston, Virginia

Mukilteo, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

White Center, Washington

Merrimac, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 22, 2015, wendymadre from Petersburg, VA wrote:

Abraham Darby has not performed well in my Southern Virginia, edge-of-the-Piedmont (we're just about midway between the Piedmont and the Tidewater) Zone 7A yard. It could be my fault for having moved him from his original spot and keeping him in a large pot for several years, until we got the backyard landscaped. However, he still produces gorgeous, fragrant blossoms in May. I get better bloom production from other Austin roses, such as Saint Cecilia, Sharifa Asma and Heritage. Still, I was excited to see a seedling in the path next to old Abe. Does anyone know if Darby has a reputation for producing seedlings?


On May 15, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Very prone to black spot in Boston and at the NYBG. I wouldn't try to grow this on the humid east coast of N. America without a weekly fungicide spray.

The flowers are beautiful, if you can keep it healthy enough to bloom.


On May 14, 2015, lancer23 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I haven't done well with the Austins but this is the exception. The flower is such a beauty with many petals like a cabbage rose with a cupped shape. The color is peachy and there is a nice strong fragrance of spice and fruit. If there is a weakness about this rose it would be the thin stem which makes the bloom knot a little and in a windy day or high traffic area the stem will break which happens to my plant. The leaves are clean for the most part of the year. In the fall it tend to get black spot and leaf lost which doesn't matter because most rose goes to dormancy. I never spray and hardly even water. You don't have to baby them like most Austins. This rose get high mark on my list. If you can have only a few roses, this one I would highly recommend.


On May 3, 2015, SecretMonkey from Salisbury, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This was my very first rose. I bought it in central florida (St. Pete) and it was so huge and luscious and fragrant. I never saw black spot even though I lived 5 miles from the gulf coast and our summers were very humid. When I moved to NC I dug it up and took it with me. Its in a spot it doesn't like, competing with a tangly grape vine and some weeds and in very clayey soil. It needs a good grooming and a great deal of clearing out, but it still puts forth those beautiful fragrant blooms. I am not experienced with roses at all, have never water it, fertilized it, or pruned it ( in 8 years)and it STILL flowers! Now that I know a wee bit more about roses I plan to hack out that space and improve the soil, and give him a good haircut. It's just too bad I don't have a sunny place closer to ... read more


On Feb 9, 2015, Flowerpower2014 from Boyce, LA wrote:

The blooms on this rose are absolutely beautiful but they are very stingy with them. I had it planted in an area that I think has very infertile soil so it was moved to a flower bed with it as the center. It definitely has done much better there but it's still not out doing itself. The plant is very small, the branches are very skinny, and the blooms are very tiny. I will add that this will be my first spring with it. I got it in June of last year and I live in louisiana soooo that may be why it didn't respond well. I got a very beautiful bloom that I posted a picture of in December!!! I did love that lol. If the rose improves this year I will update my post. I have my fingers crossed bc I really want to love this rose.


On Sep 9, 2014, mjk3 from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

My Wife bought an Abraham Darby this year to replace ones we lost. So far the blooms have had the shape of a Darby, but have been distinctly pink and not the apricot that we have been used to.

I think that we were sent a rose that was not a Darby, but my wife is trying to convince herself that the rose will bloom with the apricot color in later years. (The Darby is her favorite rose and mine too.)

Does anyone have experience with a Darby blooming pink the first year and reverting to the apricot shade in subsequent years?


On Aug 18, 2014, francesseth from Evanston, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have several David Austin roses, but this one is my favorite. I don't use any chemicals in my garden. Toward the end of August, there is sometimes a little black spot, but it doesn't seem to affect the plant the next year. Even after the worst winter the midwest has had for a long time (winter 2014), my three Abraham Darbys bloomed very well. We didn't even have Japanese beetles this year.
Frances Seth, Evanston, Illinois


On Jun 22, 2014, Denmandog from Denman Island,
Canada wrote:

On Denman Island, B.C. I have good success with many roses but not this one. Although various publications seem to promote it I think it is oversold. Yes it is fragrant and puts out lots of bloom, but it is certainly not resistant to black spot, it drops many leaves, is droopy and the blooms are very susceptible to balling. Don't have the heart to chuck it but I wouldn't buy it again.


On Jan 3, 2014, wasbloomin from Echo, LA wrote:

Very disappointed. After 4 years I'm about ready to give up. Yes the blooms are amazing but he's very stingy with them. Wimpy skinny canes with few leaves. A very ugly plant. I don't think he likes Louisiana. Not worth the effort.


On Jun 3, 2013, Cville_Gardener from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

This rose does very well here as far as beautiful prolific blooms. It is subject to quite a bit of black spot in our humid climate. I think it's worth the effort. Truly a lovely rose!


On Jan 4, 2012, HedgerowRose from State College, PA wrote:

We grow a whole bunch of roses in our zone 6 garden, and 'Abraham Darby' has to be one of our favorites. Even my husband has made note of it several times and gardening isn't his thing. It has several flushes of blooms during the growing season (usually around 4). The canes tend to grow thickly so I prune out the center of the plant to allow more air circulation as black spot does trouble ours usually around late summer, but never enough to cause serious concern. The biggest thing I would recommend if you grow this rose is to plant it in a very large container as the canes are lax and the flowers droopy. In a container it forms a more pleasing fountain shape and is at just the right level for smelling the roses heavenly scent!


On Jul 20, 2010, cabngirl from Sonoma, CA wrote:

I live in Sonoma CA and am one of those who has a hard time with this rose. I love the blooms, which when they come successfully are heavenly, it's one of my favorites and I am very frustrated. After the initial spring bloom the blooms end up nodding, the leaves look terrible and tend to mostly fall off, suffer from rust etc, leaving a pitiful tangle of sickly looking stems. (it's almost bald now mid-July) I've moved it, from a shadier location to a sunnier location, amended the soil and occasionally feed (various organic fertilizers) and still have the same issues and results on the whole. Perhaps I need to amend and feed more.... maybe it's something about my soil which probably tends to include ample clay/adobe. (I seem to have poor luck with other roses as well but this one is the wors... read more


On Jul 19, 2010, crisymei from WILSONVILLE,
United States wrote:

I love this rose very much! Its nice large blooms and the vivid color are exactly what I expected from an English rose. The flowers are first in peach tones and then turn to medium pink. This is its first year and the plant is very prolific. I indeed noticed the "drooping" problem people mentioned before. I just used a couple of U-shaped stalks to hold some stems.


On Jul 12, 2010, Jabez from Neskowin, OR wrote:

This has been my favorite rose ever since I discovered it about ten years ago, but I'm having a terrible time with it. My first plant grew well in Salem, Oregon, where most roses do well, though I transplanted it and it never quite bloomed as well as on first planting. Now I live on the Oregon coast (I know, I know, we aren't supposed to be able to grow roses here) and though I get nice blooms, I have lots of trouble with black spot and weak stems. I keep trying though, because the flowers and scent are so lovely.


On Jul 12, 2010, myezek from Carson City, NV (Zone 6a) wrote:

A wonderful old fashioned-looking rose. I have two that I grow as climbers. They are part of the backdrop for my cottage garden and never fail to please. Great smell, large, lush blooms. Yes, they're gangly which makes them good for climbers and the flower heads are heavy so they droop a bit. But they can't be beat for the soft apricot-pink color. Mine have been in almost tweny years and the yard has become shadier over time and they still thrive. Nevada Gardener is right, they're almost rampant here in northern Nevada. Highly recommend these.


On Jul 12, 2010, LeslieT from Bellaire, TX wrote:

I grew three Abraham Darby roses over a period of time, starting in 1995. I removed one after nine years and the other two a couple of years later because of their ungainly appearance. Their bloom was sporadic. Granted, I'm an organic gardener so they were never sprayed or coddled. The roses were also grown on their own roots in my Houston-area garden. I tried three different sun/shade locations. They were fed well twice a year. Nevertheless, they were, frankly, extremely ugly plants whose gorgeous blooms couldn't make up for their overall appearance. I really loved the blooms; but didn't like the plant. No amount of pruning could create a "bushier" plant. Perhaps the only way to enjoy them is as a climber with something planted to cover up the first four feet of the plant. I tr... read more


On May 26, 2010, Amanda4973 from Seattle, WA wrote:

This is the first of 11 rose bushes to bloom in my garden, all of which I planted last fall. It's getting big already, and the blossoms are a lovely pale pink with peach tones. It's got a moderate case of black spot, which is responding well to my ministrations with garlic spray and trimming infected leaves off the plant. The flowers are drooping to the ground because the stems are so thin and weak. I've learned that young Abraham Darby plants do have thin stems, and that if I'm patient, and stake it this year, it will have stronger stems in a year or two. I talked to a rosarian from the local rose society who said young roses sometimes need staking, and I found information on the David Austin website that mentioned that Abraham Darby is among the plants that have drooping blooms, but not ... read more


On May 18, 2010, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Absolutely stunning! My plants are covered in huge fragrant blossoms and the perfume drifts all over the yard. Strong plants and no evidence of any of the rose diseases that seem to plague this hot humid climate. I'm thrilled with this plant and am enjoying everything about it.


On Aug 28, 2009, greenthum3 from Jacksonville, FL wrote:

Our favorite from David Austin!!!!! Gorgeous blooms continuously until the frost. This one got us hooked on English roses.


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 Abraham Darby of Shropshire, and was one of the founding figures of the Industrial Revolution.

Editor's Note

Plant Patent number 7215 has expired


On Oct 20, 2007, astcgirl from Brandon, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is my favorite rose in my garden, Florida 9b. It's only 1 year old and I get 8-10 roses each week from it, perfect for a vase full and the vase lasts about 5 days. It does get all sprawly on me but that's because I"m not too sure how to prune it other than cutting blooms off. I have two tomato cages holding up the frame's at the base which it has already outgrown, but this helps. It does get a little bit of blackspot and had the dreaded Chilli Thrips this season, but after I fixed that, it is throwing out blooms each week. Wonderful bush, I think I will replace a few of my other failing roses with this.


On Jan 20, 2006, Moonglow from Corte Madera, CA wrote:

I love this rose, and I'm glad I've move it to an area where I frequent - - - along the walk way. A single bloom fills the room with its fragrance. It's not at all overpowering.

I grow four of them!


On Nov 11, 2005, seedpicker_TX from (Taylor) Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I absolutely love everything about this rose!

The color is fabulous...peachy apricot and pink, with really bright yellow highlights.

The fragrance is really strong, and really nice and fruity.

The form is awesome. It starts out a beautiful classic tea shape, and then turns to a gorgeous cupped, cabbagey, old fashioned shape, which frequently nods.

The flower size is huge! This flower is about twice the size of most of my others.

The health and vigor of this rose is excellant. The foliage is always dark green and there is always lots of it.


On Nov 8, 2005, JeanneTX from Willis, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

One of the BEST of the David Austins Roses, Intoxicatingly fragrant,majorly being a fan of the many petaled Roses, multi-pastel coloured,non stop blooming for me here in Texas...A Must have that only gets better with age.


On May 17, 2005, jasmerr from Merrimac, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have had this rose for five years now. Three and one half years ago it was moved to our current home (end of July!) and is still surviving. It has more blooms every year, and the stems seem to get stonger also.


On May 16, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love the fragrance of this rose, and the blooms are very pretty. It needs some winter protection in zone 5. It gets a little black spot late in the season.


On Apr 10, 2005, rebkev from Seaside, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

The fragrance, the color, the petals, the shape - all are exhilarating on this flower. True, the flower is a bit large for its slender stems, but that makes it all the more tempting to cut and bring inside. The leaves are deep green and healthy except for occasional rust.

Blooms repeatedly and then profusely from April to December. Wow.


On Feb 28, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a great rose, with a rampant habit in my climate. The flowers are large and fragrant.


On Sep 20, 2004, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This grows in a rose garden with many other roses, yet it is one of two I am considering tearing out. The limbs are far too weak to support the flower, which droops terribly.


On Aug 19, 2004, lincolnitess from Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b) wrote:

My favorite of the 6 David Austin roses I have grown. Blooms are so full it would be very hard to count all the petals.
Fragrance is fruity, but not over-powering. My only wish is that it made a longer lasting cut flower.


On Jun 5, 2003, Petsitterbarb from Claremore, OK wrote:

I agree with the others that have previously posted...it's my favorite rose! The form, color, and scent are marvelous to MY senses! I don't spray at all, and it's doing beautifully. This is it's fourth year for me, and it's the rose that hooked me on roses when I saw it blooming in the local rose garden. Yes, a little blackspot..but nothing outrageous. I don't exhibit, so who cares?! It lasts well in a vase (or an informal fruit jar!), and I keep a little bouquet by my kitchen sink, so I can enjoy this wonderful rose ALOT!


On Mar 21, 2003, higgypop wrote:

This is my absolute favorite rose (planted it as a memorium to my beloved Great Dane Higgins). A robust, rebloomer that rarely suffers from black spot or other typical rose problems. The first season I had 6 blooms....the second season about 20...and this past season, as I was taking water out of my goldfish aquarium to freshen their water, I started to dump this goldfish water on the rose and I was blessed with over 60 blooms......amazingly lovely scent that is as described, fruity and soft. And the blooms are rich thickly petaled, tea cups of soft pinky/peach color. A perfect Rose......I want a whole yard of them.


On Aug 21, 2002, FLSuncoast from Sarasota, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Beautiful David Austin Rose, actually my favorite. I has a very rich and fruity fragrance. The flowers large and deeply cupped that bloom in early summer and continue through the season is deadheaded. The blooms are pink, apricot and yellow. Hardy and healthy, my plant has been easy to prune into a beautiful bush shape.