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Imogen rose. English rose. The Right Roses. Photo credit: Rose review comments:
'Rose Review' Series Color: Yellow David Austin roses Disease resistance: Good Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: light - medium Ideal: Front of border Ideal: Shady areas Rose: Shrub rose

Imogen Rose Review | David Austin 2016

Imogen rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Gorgeous blooms with button eyes
  • Great name
  • Extremely floriferous
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Upright habit


  • Blooms shatter quickly
  • Only good disease resistance: not excellent







English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin

David Austin

Bears pretty, lightly scented, pale yellow blooms, fading almost to cream. The many delicately frilled petals are arranged around a button eye. It forms a sturdy, quite upright shrub with glossy foliage. Named after the character in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. David Austin, 2016.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Imogen rose in 2016. He named this rose after the character in the famous and very dramatic play of William Shakespeare, Cymbeline. The play set in the Ancient Britain (AD 10 – 14). Imogen is a daughter of King Cymbeline. Researchers are not clear when the play was produced. However, many believe that Shakespeare created the play around 1611. And, it is also one of his final plays.

Imogen is a good rose. She has something quite unique about her. However, the team at The Right Roses believes that she is not one of the best David Austin roses.


“…the team at The Right Roses believes that she is not one of the best David Austin roses”.

The Right Roses |

Imogen rose: The pros

The best trait of Imogen rose must be her incredibly gorgeous pale-yellow blooms with frilled petals. However, what really makes her unique is the button eyes in her blooms. Michael Marriot, the senior rosarian at David Austin, enthusiastically suggested that “The button eye comes from true Old Roses, especially antique Gallica and Damask roses. Few modern roses have it”. So far, among David Austin roses, only two varieties have this lovely characteristic, including Munstead Wood and Port Sunlight.

Next, Imogen rose has a lovely name. This David Austin rose closely reflects the personality of the character in the play of William Shakespeare, Cymbeline: so elegant and charming.

David Austin is a phenomenal rosarian, breeding some of the most charming roses in the world. In addition, in our opinion at The Right Roses, he also has special eyes, choosing the most attractive and apt names for his roses. If you watch the play, Cymbeline, you will love Imogen rose a lot more because of her button eyes and name. It is just our guess. However, it is likely that David Austin named this rose after Imogen because of the mole on the character’s breast. In the play, this little detail changed Imogen’s life forever. Do the button eyes of Imogen rose resemble that mole? No one is sure about that. However, it could be one of the reasons. If you would like to know more about this famous play, here is the plot.

In addition to the beautiful blooms and name, Imogen rose re-blooms extremely well. She also blooms very late in the autumn. In the UK, she can bloom until the end of November.

Moreover, she can tolerate shade quite well. However, David Austin did not rank her as one of his best shade tolerant roses, according to the Handbook of Roses 2019/2020.

Finally, Imogen rose makes a little and upright shrub in your garden. Therefore, she is the right rose for those who have a city-sized garden. In addition, she could be a good rose for front of the border.

Imogen rose: The cons

Imogen rose has two weaknesses. In our opinion, they both are quite serious.

First, Imogen blooms shatter so quickly. You usually get about 2 to 3 days max. This characteristic is similar to that of Royal Jubilee. The blooms are very short-lived. And, please let me remind you that this is in the UK. We expect that her bloom can shatter even more quickly in a hot climate.

Second, Imogen rose’s disease resistance is “good” only. Not “excellent”. She would have black spot in the autumn. And then, she would defoliate. At that time, she may not look particularly attractive!

Imogen rose: The similarities

Imogen rose reminds us of The Poet’s Wife rose (2014). They are both relatively small David Austin roses.  The Poet’s Wife rose (2014) makes a 3.5 ft x 3.5 ft shrub, whereas Imogen rose is slightly smaller at 3 ft x 3 ft. Therefore, they are both great for front of the border.  However, The Poet’s Wife rose (2014) blooms are larger (3.5 – 5 ‘’ or 9 – 12.5 cm). In addition, The Poet’s Wife rose (2014) produces a strong fragrance. It is only light – medium for Imogen rose.

Imogen rose: The details

Height & Spread: 3ft x 3 ft Color: Pale yellow Fragrance: Light – medium
Fragrance notes: Fruity Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Partial sunlight Bloom size: Medium (2 – 3.5’’ or 5 – 9 cm) Disease resistance: Good

Photo credit:

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