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Souvenir du Docteur Jamain climbing rose. Rose review comments. The Right Roses. Old rose.
Color: Red Disease resistance: Poor Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: very strong Ideal: Climbing roses for north facing walls Ideal: Shady areas Old roses Rose: Climbing

Souvenir du Docteur Jamain Rose Review | Old Climbing Rose 1865

Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant to shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Fragrance: Strong
  • Richest maroon rose
  • Suitable for small gardens: Height 6ft (1.8 m) x Spread 3ft (0.9 m)
  • Tolerance of shade


  • Very susceptible to diseases
  • Very lanky


Royal Horticultural Society

First introduced in 1865, this rose was a firm favourite of the renowned plantswoman Vita Sackville-West, and all the top designers are still scrambling for it today. It is one of the best climbers for a north facing wall, as the deep claret coloured flowers tend to fade in full sun. The main flush of flowers appear in midsummer, but it will continue to have smaller bursts until autumn. They are tolerant of poor soils, have few thorns, and can be grown as an open shrub if they are given support.

Peter Beales

Like the good red wine that the colour of this rose portrays, it needs careful placing away from scorching sun to mature to a sumptuous rare beauty of shape, texture and bouquet.

David Austin

Medium-sized, flat flowers, showing just a hint of their yellow stamens. They are of the richest maroon colouring and have an equally rich fragrance. Repeat flowers well but is rather lanky in habit and needs treating on a regular basis to keep it healthy. Lacharme, 1865.

The Right Roses:

Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose was introduced by  François Lacharme in 1865. The closest rose to him, in terms of look, is Munstead Wood.

This rose is the real test for your character as a person and as a gardener. You must be extremely tough. And, you must have the deepest love for roses, to even consider growing Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose! Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose is very susceptible to all kinds of diseases you can think of, such as mildew, rust, and backspot. As a result, you would find him leafless throughout late autumn and winter because you would have to remove all the leaves. However, as soon as you remove all the leaves, a new wave of shoots comes up very quickly.

Souvenir du Docteur Jamain is not a vigorous rose. In fact, it is quite lanky. Therefore, you should not expect him to cover a large area, such as your 6 ft fence. Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose remains as a short and small climbing rose for years to come.

I would compare Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose with a spoilt boy. It is very hard to make him happy. One of the reasons is that you cannot expose him to too much sun because his blooms tend to lighten, dry out in the sun, and then pass quickly. Moreover, you cannot keep him in shade either because it makes him even more susceptible to diseases.

Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose is not the most productive rose in the world. He will give you the first flush in mid-summer and a few blooms here and there until late-autumn.

And, sometimes you doubt yourself, “Did I make a big mistake to buy him?”. Obviously, the price was not cheap. David Austin lists him at £17.50. You may find a better deal on Amazon or  Gardening Express

And, when it gets to late autumn, you again doubt yourself. This hate-and-love cycle will last for years.

Souvenir du Docteur Jamain rose: Details

Height & Spread: 6ft x 3ft Color: Maroon-purple Fragrance: Strong
Fragrance notes: old rose/fruity Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: No
Sun exposure: Shady areas Bloom size: Medium Disease resistance: Poor

Photo credit: The Right Roses |

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How are the stems of Dr. Jamain? team

Thank you Ryan for your question. Stems of Souvenir du Docteur Jamain can be trained, obviously, because he is a climbing rose. However, we can also grow him as a shrub with sufficient support. Another good thing about the stems of Souvenir du Docteur Jamain is that he has relatively few thorns.


Do you think Dr. Jamain is suitable for the North as it is quite cold and dark for 5-6 months a year. team

Thank you Courtney for your question. He would certainly do well for a North facing wall. David Austin also has a few varieties which can do well for that challenging spot as well. For example, Wollerton Old Hall Climbing rose.

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