Introducing ‘Jude the Obscure’ David Austin Rose

Last spring, after I swore up and down that I was done purchasing roses for the season, I found what seemed like a perfectly legitimate excuse to add just a handful more: seeing as how most of my roses are very young OGR’s I came to the shocking realization that I wouldn’t have enough roses in bloom throughout the summer and I simply just had to do something about that. Funny how you can easily justify these things, isn’t it? 😉

Well, the joke was on me. For the first time, I purchased my Austins as “own-root”, but they are spindly, weak looking things and most of them haven’t even bloomed yet! (I think in the future I will stick to purchasing my Austins as grafted.) One of the exceptions is ‘Jude the Obscure’ who came out of the starting gate, even as an own root, with robust canes, healthy foliage and drop-dead gorgeous flowers with a scent stronger even than it’s parent (one of my favorites) ‘Abraham Darby’. I mean this rose is a serious achievement. It makes me want to give David Austin the slow-to-fast clap; It’s just that awesome.

Full disclosure: Ours is growing in a pretty scary looking dollar-store plastic container so I avoided the whole kit and kaboodle for these photos. I dream of having a container rose garden like this one someday, with fancy Italian terracotta pots (that probably each cost more than a car payment), and when I do, ‘Jude the Obscure’ will get pride of place.

13 thoughts on “Introducing ‘Jude the Obscure’ David Austin Rose

  1. I love how some of DA’s roses open from the center. Is it only his that do that or are there OGR that do that too?

    1. Hmmm, not sure I’m following what you mean…are you talking about this globular, rounded shape of the flowers? If so, I found that ‘La Reine’ has a similar form–much like ‘Jude the Obscure’, actually.

    1. OK I think I understand now….thank you for the pics, I’m a visual person so that helps. 😉 Without getting too detailed, I think what you’re asking has to do with the type of rose and the number of petals–basically, like super-in-a-nutshell here. For example, a Species rose, with single petals, will appear differently in all the bloom stages than a Centifolia rose which packs in 100+ petals into a single flower. (The David Austin roses you mentioned often have lots of petals because, of course, he is breeding the “old fashioned” form into his roses; henceforth they open differently than say, a rose such as a semi-double like ‘Dr. Huey’.) But it also has to do with the class and breeding. For example, the Tea roses (like the first photo you linked to) brought the tall, urn-shaped blossoms into the breeding pool (which you also see in HT’s) with tight centers that will spiral open. Does that help?

    1. I’m probably not explaining myself very well…sorry! 🙂 In simplest form, it has to do with the rose’s genetics. But knowing which class the rose belongs to (i.e. Gallica, Tea, Damask etc. etc.) and what it’s lineage is (what traits it’s parents are handing down) will help you determine a little more about what it’s bloom shape, size, number of petals, how prominent the stamens are, how it looks in bud stage and so on and so forth, will be.

  2. Jude looks like a beautiful rose! Glad you had one that you were able to enjoy this summer. I know what you mean about pots. I have lots of ugly plastic pots too – I hate paying more for the pot than the rose that’s in it!

  3. Hi, beautiful flowers! I think you said that you had Jude the Obscure planted in a pot, and I was wondering if it did well outside all winter in the pot? I’m a little farther south (DC area). I love the look of Jude, and really want to grow her in a container (without killing her…).


    1. Hi Allison, welcome! Yes, Jude did very well in it’s container and then the following season I planted into the garden. However, remember that horrible winter we had last year? It killed Jude (and a number of other roses) off. So that was the end of that, unfortunately. If you decide to grow Jude in a container, just make sure to bring it into a protected area for the winter (and if you plant in-ground, give it better protection than I did, haha!) 🙂

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