Etoile de Lyon is a tea rose of exquisite color, a large and healthy rose whose light golden blooms come in a series of flushes throughout the spring and summer. It is a fantastic option for ‘no-spray’ gardeners. Bred in France in 1876 by Jean-Baptiste Guillot, the fragrance is excellent. Large pale yellow to buff flowers completes the picture.
For a gardener interested in the old roses, Etoile de Lyon would be a grand place to start.
Etoile de Lyon is a healthy and vigorous rose, although well-armed with thorns.
Disease resistance is outstanding. Etoile de Lyon can reach a bushy 5′-6′ tall and will be wider still at maturity. Hardiness is safe USDA zones 6b/7a and warmer. It is remontant and blooms will come in flushes repeatedly during the growing season.
It is good that the Etoile de Lyon is such a healthy and strong grower, as the blooms themselves do not hold up well on rainy days. Considering the tendency of blooms to mark in wet weather, overhead watering is not recommended. If outer petals do become discolored, remove them and the blooms may still open.
As mentioned, the flowers are large, growing upwards of 5″. I have seen the flowers range from light yellow to buff to almost white, especially when viewed from a distance. There seems to be a direct correlation between how gloomy the weather is and flower color (the more overcast it is…the more yellow the blooms).
Etoile de Lyon easily bests most modern garden roses when it comes to vitality, disease resistance, and quantity/quality of bloom.
Pierre Guillot introduced Etoile de Lyon for commercial trade in 1881 and indicated that Safrano was one of the parents. Safrano has a rich history in rose lore and has been used for breeding purposes for over a century; Sharon’s Delight, introduced over 100 years later, was also hybridized from Safrano.