Charles de Gaulle is a lilac/mauve Hybrid Tea rose. It is considered by many to be the finest Hybrid Tea in this colouring.
It has large, double, cupped shaped flowers with good form. The flowers are mostly borne singly on shortish stems. Each flower has about 38 petals and is fragrant. The flowers last remarkably well in the vase. The top photo was taken after 3 days and a car trip from Bridgetown to Perth. I am always impressed when a bloom lasts the trip unscathed.
Charles de Gaulle does best in a dry climate. It does not like damp or humid conditions. In such conditions, I have read, it does not flower well and the flowers tend to ball.
Given the above, you would expect it to be thriving in my garden but it appears to be only moderately happy. It is not particularly vigorous and not particularly tall – mine would be less than a metre tall. It is also susceptible, in the wet months, to a bit of black spot.
One aspect that I particularly like about Charles de Gaulle is its blue, green foliage. It complements the lilac blooms perfectly. Another plus is the bush has few thorns.
Charles De Gaulle was bred in France, in 1974, by Meilland. As you would expect, Charles de Gaulle was named after the French statesman. In New Zealand, it is known as ‘Katherine Mansfield’, one of their great writers.