I have often mentioned the Leander Group of roses. Now is the time to meet the rose after which the group was named.
David Austin decided to develop a group of roses that, whilst their flowers were of the old rose type, their foliage and growth had more modern rose character. For this purpose, he turned to the modern climbers related to the Wichurana ramblers, by way of New Dawn. He decided on Aloha (bred by Boerner in 1949) as the foundation parent for the Group.
Leander was one of the first roses in the Leander Group. The following members of the Leander Group have already been featured in Rose of the Week: Ambridge Rose, Jubilee Celebration, Benjamin Britten, Grace, Pat Austin, Christopher Marlowe & The Prince.
Leander has deep pink/apricot flowers of medium size. They are borne in large, open sprays. The blooms are rosette-shaped. The petals fan out from the centre in perfect symmetry. They are similar to, but smaller than, its parent, Charles Austin.
The blooms have a strong, fruit fragrance.
David Austin classifies Leander as an early summer-flowering rose. It flowers only occasionally, after the first Spring flush.
David Austin describes Leander as “a first class shrub of considerable proportions”. Leander is “the most healthy and vigorous of all English Roses, with shiny dark green disease-resistant foliage similar to that of a Modern Rose.” It thrives almost anywhere.
Leander can grow very large (up to 2.5 metres), especially in warm climates. It, therefore, needs plenty of room. It can either be grown as a large shrub or climber.
Leander was named after the legendary Greek lover. It was released by Austin (UK) in 1982.