The McCartney Rose

I was a little before the Beatles, but that doesn’t keep me from appreciating a rose named for one of them, ‘The McCartney Rose’. Also found under the names of ‘Paul McCartney’, ‘Sweet Lady’ and ‘The MacCartney Rose’. This is a hybrid tea, in a rich medium clear pink that was hybridized by Meilland and introduced in 1991. I’m not the only one who loves it, as it was awarded The Geneva Gold Medal in 1988, LeRoix Gold Medal and Fragrance Award in 1988, Monza Gold Medal and Fragrance Award in 1988, Madrid Fragrance Award in 1988 and the Belfast Award for Fragrance in 1993. Is it any wonder that I love the smell of this rose? I didn’t go out and buy it either; some years ago we were given a large number of roses by a local nursery after they realized both the roots and canes had been too severely pruned, and they could not sell the roses. Our Society took them and most were raised by some members and later raffled off or sold to members. I obtained two, and they have amazingly thrived.

The blooms have around 40 petals, with high centers in bud stage, opening to a more cupped flower up to 7 inches across. The fragrance will completely blow you away. I have had a couple roses in the kitchen and it scents the whole room. I’m really not a pink lover, but in this rose, it can’t be beat. The bushes are fairly large, however, all the books say it will be of medium height. Since I’m 5 foot and the bushes are taller than me, I’m not sure what they call a “medium” plant. It does tend to black spot in rainy overcast weather. I recently deadheaded twenty flowers from one bush, and it blooms heavily all summer. The foliage is large, medium green and semi-glossy. The American Rose Society Handbook for Selecting Roses gives it a rating of 8.2. I love unusual, delicate roses, and this one certainly is.

By Barbara Picarelli, Consulting Rosarian Emeritus
Edited for the website by N Londeree, March 2020

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