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Young Lycidas rose. The Right Roses. Rose reviews comments. English roses. David Austin. Photo credit:
'Rose Review' Series Award winning Color: Pink David Austin roses Disease resistance: Average Flowering: Repeat flowering Fragrance: strong Ideal: Back of border Ideal: Pots & Containers Rose: Shrub rose

Young Lycidas Rose Review | David Austin 2008

Young Lycidas rose


Fragrance Strength


Repeat Flowering


Bloom Size




Suitable for containers


Tolerant of shade


Disease resistance


Tolerance of poor soil


Few thorns


Best for cuttings



  • Strong fragrance
  • Large and gorgeous blooms
  • Great as a cut flower
  • Generous repeater


  • His blooms can nod
  • Not attractive shrub shape
  • Average disease resistance



English Shrub Rose bred by David Austin


David Austin

Large, deeply cupped flowers, blending deep pink, magenta and red – the outer petals tending towards light purple, with an almost silvery quality. There is a delicious Tea and Old Rose scent, with hints of cedar wood. It makes an attractive, bushy shrub. Named after John Milton’s poem, Lycidas. David Austin, 2008.

The Right Roses:

David Austin introduced Young Lycidas rose for the UK in 2008. He named this rose after receiving a request from The Friends of Milton’s Cottage to name this rose to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of the poet John Milton. ‘Lycidas’ is one of the finest short poems in the English language. Interestingly, it was Milton who introduced the word ‘fragrance’ into the English language.

Young Lycidas rose is a fabulous David Austin rose. He has a few weaknesses. However, overall, Young Lycidas rose’s strengths can more than compensate for his weaknesses.


“…, overall, Young Lycidas rose’s strengths can more than compensate for his weaknesses”.

The Right Roses |


Young Lycidas rose: The pros

  • Awarded first prize for fragrance at the 2009 Barcelona Trials

Young Lycidas rose produces a tasty and strong perfume. It is just such an incredible fragrance. David Austin rated his fragrance as ‘strong’. However, the team at The Right Roses does not think that David Austin’s fragrance rating does him a justice. For your information, Young Lycidas roses was awarded with The First Prize for his beautiful fragrance at the 2009 Barcelona Trials. We at The Right Roses believe that Young Lycidas is one of the most scented David Austin roses.

Next, Young Lycidas produce a mass of very big and exceptionally gorgeous blooms (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm). Just image how happy you are when you deepen your nose into those giant, deep pink blooms. One by one. Indeed, you really don’t know when to stop enjoying his beauty. Many people say that you cannot have happiness without (a lot) money. In fact, we do not agree with that statement. The moment you see the first bloom of Young Lycidas, you just feel you cannot be happier. You do not need a lot of money. It is still a decent investment. However, the biggest part of the investment is not about that amount of money. It is about your love. And, it is about how much you care about him (i.e., feeding, watering, pruning, etc.).

Moreover, Young Lycidas is a great, great David Austin rose for cut flower. He has a good vase life. According to our experience, he may last about 5 days in the vase if you change the water, which is pretty good, compared to other David Austin roses. For example, Jude the Obscure may last about 1 – 2 days in vase at most.

In addition, Young Lycidas is an incredible repeater. He is such a generous rose, starting blooming very early, and then continuing doing so until frost. In the UK, that mean you can enjoy his gorgeous blooms until the end of November. If you leave in the warmer regions such as the South East, his blooming season might be longer than that.

Young Lycidas rose: The cons

Young Lycidas rose has only three weaknesses.

First, his blooms are so large. Coupled with his wire-thin and weak stems, his blooms nod! If you give him a few years, Young Lycidas rose can get better in this aspect. However, you should expect that his stems will still be quite weak, even after a few years in your garden.

Second, the biggest drawback of Young Lycidas, to the team at The Right Roses, is his shrub shape. He does not make a very attractive shrub. It is open, leggy with a lot of laterals. Sometimes you may wonder if he is a short climber with so many laterals. This characteristic of his has two quite unpleasant consequences. First, most of the time, you find his blooms on top of the other plants around him. Therefore, if you like enjoying the beauty of each plant separately, then he is not the right rose for you. Second, he is not the right rose for front of the border. You may consider having him at the back of your garden. His shrub has a messy look. Therefore, he should not be the top choice for city-sized, small gardens. Nonetheless, he could be a good choice for mixed borders where you have more room for his growth.

Third, Young Lycidas rose has an ‘average’ disease resistance. You may see black spot or powdery mildew here and there on his bush. However, it is nothing serious. Give him a little bit of space with good air circulation, he could be quite healthy. On the other hand, if you compare him with the more recent David Austin introductions, he would just lose this battle field. For example, Boscobel (2012), Desdemona (2015), Bathsheba (2016), Imogen (2016), and so on, all have the ‘excellent’ disease resistance. For the last few years, David Austin has made such a striking improvement in the disease resistance dimension of the majority of their roses. This is particularly great news for gardeners like us.

Young Lycidas rose: The similarities

Young Lycidas rose closely resembles one of the most popular David Austin roses, Princess Alexandra of Kent rose. They have a similar bush size (4 ft x 4 ft). Their bush shapes are slightly similar. Young Lycidas rose makes an open and leggy shrub. Princess Alexandra of Kent rose bush is denser. However, she is such a wide rose. One more similarity, both of them produce a strong fragrance. The colors of both Princess Alexandra of Kent and Young Lycidas do not fade much in the mild UK weather.

Nonetheless, Princess Alexandra of Kent rose has two better traits, compared to Young Lycidas. Princess Alexandra of Kent rose has a better disease resistance (‘good’). Young Lycidas rose’s disease resistance is only ‘average’. In addition, the blooms of Princess Alexandra of Kent do not nod as much as those of Young Lycidas, despite having bigger blooms.

Young Lycidas rose: The details

Height & Spread: 4ft x 4ft Color: Deep pink Fragrance: Strong
Fragrance notes: Tea/Old Rose Flowering: Repeat flowering Suitable for containers: Yes
Sun exposure: Full sunlight Bloom size: Large (3.5 – 5’’ or 9 – 12.5 cm) Disease resistance: Average

Photo credit: The Right Roses | and

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