David Austin’s rose ‘Graham Thomas’ is the World’s Favorite Rose, according to the rose aficionados in the 41 member countries that make up the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS). Rosa ‘Graham Thomas’ (Ausmas) becomes only the 14th rose in 33 years to win the triennial accolade–considered by many to be the rose world’s highest honor.
The award marks WFRS’s induction of ‘Graham Thomas’ into its highly selective Rose Hall of Fame. Each Hall of Fame inductee wears the crown of World’s Most Favorite Rose for a three-year reign. The first World’s Favorite Rose winner was the famed Peace rose (Rosa ‘Peace’), the 1976 inductee to the Rose Hall of Fame.
In 1983, ‘Graham Thomas’ was the first David Austin hybrid to realize its hybridizer’s vision for new Fragrant English Roses. The cup-shaped blooms have a strong, fresh tea rose fragrance with a cool violet character. Their color is an unusually pure yellow, which is not found in old roses and is rare even among modern roses.
‘Graham Thomas’ forms a bushy shrub sized 5 feet high by 4 feet wide. R. ‘Graham Thomas’ is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9 and has proved a good performer in areas where summer heat and humidity can be problematic. Summer pruning encourages repeat bloom. The rose can also be trained as a spectacular climbing rose, particularly in warmer climates where it can reach 10 to 12 feet and thus is ideal for climbing a wall, rose pillar, obelisk or fence.
It enjoys full sun but will also perform surprisingly well in partial shade, provided it is not planted directly underneath the canopy of trees.
Read David Austin’s official press release to learn more about this favorite rose.