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Mr. Lincon yes/no?

Rekha A 9a Houston area
February 19, 2019

I generally prefer old fashioned Roses to the HT type blooms, but my husband and son like red, modern Roses and I am trying to include some. This rose is supposed to have a strong damask fragrance that I am looking for, but have not seen in person,Chrysler imperial is also supposed to be highly fragrant, but I have not seen in person either.
Would you reccomend this rose?
I am in hot and humid Houston, 9a. I would not spray, I think. Dont do it for other Rose's, some lose foliage, so be it.

Comments (32)

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    I have Mr Lincoln. Its definitely hot & humid here. The flowers are huge and fragrant. I really love it but they arent always dark red. Sometimes more hot pink in the hottest weather.

    Don Juan stays the truest red for me in the heat and has frequent old fashioned-looking large blooms.

    Munstead Wood is good here but is a darker red and intensely fragrant. In winter it can take on slight purplish hues. Also a good bloomer.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
  • rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ)

    We don’t have it here or at our country home. But at a public garden near our winter home down in Rincon, it looks lovely. With a nice fragrance. So I say Si.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked rifis (zone 6b-7a NJ)
  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    I had a Don Juan in my last house, it bloomed a lot, no fragrance and my husband loved it. I put it in in this house 3 years ago, got maybe 1 or 2 blooms.

    Killed Munstead Wood a year ago, not sure what happened. Never bloomed, it was in a container...

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    Years ago when Harry and David owned Jackson and Perkins and I was working there, we received at least a dozen bare root rose bushes every year. So after about 3 years receiving so many roses I gave a few to my neighbor and guess which one I always regretted giving away.? Yep Mr. Lincoln I'd look over the fence and see this huge red Bloom and I know she didn't do a thing with her roses and it always looked amazing.

    At least I got to see it and enjoy it but I always thought that was such a beautiful big red Bush. But as others have said it isn't always a dark red in the summer it was more of a magenta color.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Kristine LeGault 8a pnw
  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    I'm inclined to try it, how large does the shrub get? does it pretty much grow upright?

  • erasmus_gw

    I can't say much about it but have an own root one I finally got in the ground a year or two ago and it is putting out strong growth. I am looking forward to seeing what it does. Have smelled one before and loved it. Oklahoma is another great one.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked erasmus_gw
  • Desertgarden-Las Vegas, Z 9/W. PA Z 6

    Don Juan is very heat tolerant. It is one of the few roses I own that would have blooms during triple-digit temperatures. D.J.'s repeat is quick, the blooms remained dark red even during the hottest days, and I really like the fragrance.

    I have grown this climber for 10 years now (grafted) (LV garden).

    I grew Mister Lincoln because I wanted a fragrant, large bush with dark red roses. For much of the growing season, the blooms were not dark red, but magenta. I sp'ed it... YMMV

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Desertgarden-Las Vegas, Z 9/W. PA Z 6
  • summersrhythm_z6a

    It’s a beautiful rose indeed! But I lost more than 10 in my zone. They don’t stay long in my ice hole. But if I find a bare root at Walmart this year, I’d try it again. Have been planting this rose as annual. Love the blooms!

    Oh forgot to say a big fat Yes! :-)

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked summersrhythm_z6a
  • pippacovalent

    My husband also loves red roses and he loves fragrant ones and his favorite at our local gardens is Crimson Glory. He also likes Munstead Wood.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked pippacovalent
  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    If I remember correctly, sara-ann has a collection of fragrant red HTs? Maybe she can advise on her favorites.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked jc_7a_MiddleTN
  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA


    Mr. Lincoln is super fragrant, a very good grower, but what bugs me about its bloom are two things. 1.) It could use at least 15 more petals per bloom. 2.) Mr.L. looks great all the way up to the exhibition stage, then from full open to petal drop it goes downhill. Petal quilling and not enough of them to disguise the quilling, plus a sloppy fully open center makes a rose that was perfection yesterday, look like a tired, worn out has been today and until the end.

    If you want to go a little off the beaten path take a look at Rouge Royale. I think its cupped, quartered, and fragrant bloom will please you, and it's strikingly beautiful red color will satisfy your menfolk very nicely.

    RR may be a crisper/go blue In intense heat and light, but it's heat tolerance as reported in a number of comments on HMFR is . Mr. Lincoln is a crisper under high temps.


    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA
  • Ken Wilkinson

    Mr Lincoln was my dad's favorite rose. He lived in S.E. FL. He had 3 bush's of it grafted onto fortuniana root stock. It's growth habit was pretty much strait up. He allowed it to get to 6' for a couple of years to get some big, strong canes under the bush, then always kept it a around 4' to 5'. The 3 bush's always kept flowers in the house. When you walked into the house, that was the first thing you smelled.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Ken Wilkinson
  • erasmus_gw

    I second Rouge Royale. The fragrance is one of the best. Here's Oklahoma:

    Has a very nice fragrance.

    Alec's Red does too:


    Alec's Red has depth to the blooms. I have a Don Juan coming along own root which looks like it might end up doing well. A nearby friend had a beautiful plant of it with velvety looking blooms.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked erasmus_gw
  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Moses, rouge royals is beautiful..its my kind of rose! Will save that for another spot, I will be working on clearing out a corner later this year.

    At this time, looking for HT type blooms for DH, does anyone have Chrysler imperial and mr. Lincoln? Is there a difference in fragrance type?

    Don Juan is getting one more yr on my yard, if it doesn't perform, it will be out.

  • jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

    I had a own root Mr Lincoln here in a cooler climate...I noticed the blooms did not last very long 1-3 days on the bush...I had it 4 years and it averaged about 24 blooms per entire growing season here... It was actually disease resistant here with no fungus problems...

    But it died in the 4th-5th year from a hard winter...But it did not perform good enough to replace...Sorry but for my climate it gets a thumbs down...lol..ML bored me to death also...lol

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.
  • Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA


    Those older hybrid teas are rather awkward bushes. Tall for no good reason, but in line with the exhibition required long stem craze back then. They are essentially bedding bushes where the mass effect of several bushes grouped together conceals the individual bush's awkwardness. That's OK, being suited to the generously spacious bed setting.

    Newer red hybrid teas may have better bush form. Take a look at Firefighter and its newer fellow red hybrid teas introduced within the last 20 years. Improvements have been made all around since those roses from the middle of the last century.


    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Moses, Western PA., zone 5/6, USA
  • pink rose(9b, FL )

    I wouldn't recommend Mr. Lincon . For me it is only red during cooler weather and magenta rest of the year . It is healthy and blooms a lot but the bush is very tall 7-8 ft with naked legs . the blooms don't last more than 2 days on the bush . they also burn in temps over 90 F .

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked pink rose(9b, FL )
  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Thank you, lot to think about...

    Moses, Firefighter looks good, any idea what the fragrance is like? Any other more modern Rose's I should look up?

    I would definitely prefer something smaller, I would not want single blooms 7' high..

  • noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)

    Personally, I love the color of Mr. Lincoln better than the fire-engine reds. Chrysler Imperial has a similar fragrance to me as Mr. Lincoln. Both have a rather blousy fully open bloom, Chrysler Imperial perhaps a bit more so. I kinda like that look, even though my favorites are the Austins cupped form (I wish I had a space for a Rouge Royale!). I've only sniffed one Firefighter (at the rose garden in Portland) and I wasn't impressed. But one sample is not a good comparison. Mr. Lincoln is indeed a tall gangly bush, but if you just let it grow, it gets bushy on top. Those bare legs are part of his charm.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked noseometer...(7A, SZ10, Albuquerque)
  • seil zone 6b MI

    Old Abe was lovely but he didn't care for my winters and I lost him the second year.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked seil zone 6b MI
  • summersrhythm_z6a

    What's Abe?

  • sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

    Mr Lincoln..huge blooms

    Don Juan

    Munstead Wood



    William Shakespeare 2000..also magenta in summer but quartered and lovely

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)
  • summersrhythm_z6a

    Beautiful photos! I love tree frogs! I saw a lot of them last season on my potted rose trees on the 2nd floor decking. They sure can climb. I saw no bugs on the rose trees, not sure what they were doing........

    I missed Mr Lincoln's huge blooms. Will have to get 3 this year.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked summersrhythm_z6a
  • Dan H

    Most of the time I find Chrysler Imperial has a stronger 'classic' fragrance than Mr Lincoln and climbing Don Juan. Firefighter is a little milder (just got it last year, eager to see what it does this year). Oklahoma is strongest of all, so much that I get a headache sniffing it more than a few seconds at a time. They all get blackspot and thrips here in San Antonio (Mr Lincoln a little less blackspot than the others). C.I. has the classic rose fragrance but is more rounded-out & richer than the others above without being citrus-y or spicy, quite pleasant.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Dan H
  • Karen R. (9B SF Bay Area)

    Hi Rekha. I love my reds, and am in a hot but dry climate. The fragrant reds I have are Crimson Glory, Chrysler Imperial, Mr Lincoln, Oklahoma, Firefighter, Proud Land, Munstead Wood (not exactly red), and new last year, Papa Meilland.


    Fragrance between them is pretty similar. All are VERY fragrant, there's a lot of common heritage between most of them.

    I'll give you a brief summary of how they are for me in my hot, dry climate:

    Crimson Glory

    My favorite - I have 3. Bush size is lovely (controlled to less than 4'x4'). Repeat - excellent. Health - excellent. Bloom size about 4"

    Chrysler Imperial

    Ties for 2nd of red favorites. Also have 3. Bush size is a little more upright, a little taller than Crimson Glory. Repeat - good. Health - good. Bloom size about 4"

    Mr Lincoln

    SUPER TALL. I have a hard time keeping it under 6-7' tall (despite heavy pruning). Blooms are on top, they are huge and beautiful though - over 5".


    Not a healthy plant for me. Weak bloomer, weak repeat. Blooms fry almost instantly all summer.


    About 5'+ tall. Great repeat. Excellent health of plant, bloom edges consistently blacken in the hot sun.

    Proud Land


    Munstead Wood

    Very dark, tending toward a purpleish red. VERY thorny. Very pretty blooms. Not in the best spot, pretty healthy.

    Papa (haven't had it long enough, but blooms are beautiful and fragrant)

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Karen R. (9B SF Bay Area)
  • Rekha A 9a Houston area


    Thank you very much for your detailed review. This is very very helpful.

  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    I have been eyeing rouge royale since Moses mentioned it, but when I search this forum all I see is complaints about disease! Is it as bad as that? Anyone grow it? How is the fragrance?

    I want to only add one red, and fragrance , repeat blooms are important. I was initially leaning towards Mr. Lincoln, then Chrysler imperial, now Rouge Royale...still confused!

  • DVS inFL (Zone 9a)

    I bought a Mr. Lincoln rose tree a month ago, planted it in the ground and it has taken off. I count 4 little buds just formed.

    I live in hot/humid area from mid-May to about the end of October so for me, it's an experiment if the tree can make it thru the season strong.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked DVS inFL (Zone 9a)
  • Paul Barden

    There's a reason 'Mr. Lincoln' has been in commerce for decades. Yes, it is a product of its era: very upright growth, eventually reaching 7 feet tall or more, and the color is not RED, its crimson (a "cool" red, leaning towards deep magenta with purplish values: a color I favor heavily over unmodified true reds), and it isn't 100% disease free in regions where disease pressure is high. However, I have seen many old established specimens in my local town, and most grow beautifully without care other than (apparently) watering. I grow it myself and wouldn't be without this rose in my garden. The fragrance is superb.

    I have grown 'Chrysler Imperial' (and numerous other classic "reds", and modern variants as well), and 'Chrysler Imperial' was - for me - a tragic wimp. It never exceeded 18" and eventually died of disease and freeze damage. I didn't bother replacing it, nor would I. Nothing about it impressed me.

    Once upon a time I considered adding 'Rouge Royale' to the garden, but declined because of its bad reputation for Blackspot susceptibility. It is also known for a very upright growth habit, something I avoid in modern hybrids (which should exhibit better architecture, IMO).

    The David Austin reds are an odd bunch. I started with 'Othello' 25 years ago and I still have a plant of it. Its a very coarse rose that wants to make 10 foot canes that do not bloom well until trained horizontally, and perform best after year one. It is never especially generous with bloom (basically two flushes per year), but the fragrance is top notch and the blooms are exquisite deep, full cups. A shame they come on such a grotty plant.

    Other Austin reds I have grown include 'William Shakespeare' (both), 'Tradescant' (AKA "Old Rusty"), 'Prospero', and the first of the bunch - 'Chianti'. Not one of them is perfect (far from it) and all but 'Chianti' have failed to prosper in my care once I stopped spraying fungicides - a common issue with the Austin roses, in general.

    Summary: if you want a very full bloom with Old Rose style and in a modern red hue, then 'Mr. Lincoln' will likely disappoint you (but that fragrance!!). Modern HT types roses in clear red and with OGR form are few and far between. I can only point to 'Rouge Royale' as an example (that I know of), but I am not optimistic about its Blackspot resistance in a hot, humid climate.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Paul Barden
  • Rekha A 9a Houston area

    Wow Paul, thank you for the detailed explanation. While rouge royale is tempting, it is probably not going to survive in my garden.

    I was looking at Chrysler imperial as ARE offers it and does not offer Mr. Lincoln. Bloom type is not as important to me for this spot as much as fragrance and repeat bloom though.

  • jc_7a_MiddleTN

    I had Olympiad for just 1 growing season and it repeated OK. Not sure of smell (I can't smell any of them I don't think), but the color did not turn as "pink" in the sun as it sounds like some of these others do.

  • Karen R. (9B SF Bay Area)

    Rekha, if you are just planting one red and are most concerned about repeat, I'd sure consider Crimson Glory. Of all my reds, it has the best repeat and is almost constantly in bloom.

    Rekha A 9a Houston area thanked Karen R. (9B SF Bay Area)

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