The new 'WB Yeats' Rose

Holly Somerville's botanical painting of Rosa 'WB Yeats', showing its rich, velvety scarlet petals.

2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats, and as part of Yeats2015 a brand new Irish rose named 'WB Yeats' was launched.

Thank you everyone who contributed to the costs of breeding and launching this new variety

The WB Yeats rose is now commercially available to the public, although being a new rose, numbers are still limited.
Western Plant Nursery at Skreen in Sligo take orders.
Or enquire at your local garden centre.

Full details of the rose are below.

Limited Edition prints of the 'WB Yeats' Rose!
  • Get your own copy of Holly Somerville's stunning botanical painting of the rose to commemorate this new variety.
  • Edition limited to 100 prints, so hurry while stocks last!
  • A3 size, high quality giclée Prints created by Fine Art Print Maker Tony Murray.
  • Individually numbered and signed by the artist, unframed, rolled and tubed for safety.
  • Posted to any destination.
  • €175 plus €18 p+p (standard) or plus €23 p+p (registered).
  • Order your commemorative print today at:

The 'WB Yeats' Rose print is A3 in size
The painting depicts the colour of the rose most accurately. The rich, velvety scarlet rarely comes up true in photographs.




Buy a 'WB Yeats' Rose Lapel Pin


The History of the 'WB Yeats' Rose to date:

The idea of a new rose to be named for WB Yeats came from former Senator Susan O'Keeffe, who masterminded Yeats2015. Yeats wrote 18 poems about red roses, and also loved the common Rosa canina. Susan O'Keeffe asked Lorely Forrester, a founder member of Secret Gardens of Sligo, to undertake the task of bringing the project to fruition ie, talking to breeders, selecting a new rose, appealing for funding, and finally launching the new variety.

Creating a New Rose
If you are already a rose-lover, you may know that it takes eight years to develop a new rose. Not every attempt is successful, and the process is inevitably a costly one. The WB Yeats rose, bred on Irish soil by renowned Dickson's Rose Nursery, has come through all its trials with flying colours and has already been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Hague International Rose Trials, as well as a Gold Medal by the RNRS.

The WB Yeats Rose
The rose is a dark scarlet floribunda with bright golden stamens. It is disease resistant and will flower from May to the first frosts if fed and dead-headed. Each individual bloom on its multi-headed stems opens semi-flat to form a spectacular show. A long flowering season was deemed important, for the rose to flourish in public spaces.

The very first WB Yeats rose was presented to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on their visit to Ireland in 2015. A rose was also given to the royal couple for their newborn granddaughter, Princess Charlotte, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's second child.

The next shrub was given to the President, Michael D Higgins, and Mrs Higgins at Bloom in May 2015

Joanna Lumley was also given a WB Yeats rose when she visited Sligo to open the Gold Medal-winning 'Lake Isle of Innisfree' garden, after it was transferred from Bloom.

Roses were also presented to the novelist Joseph O'Connor when he opened the 2015 Yeats Summer School, and to Yeats' granddaughter, Caitriona Yeats.

The rose had its UK launch at the Hampton Court Flower Show at the end of June.
TV presenter Rachel de Thame chose Rosa 'WB Yeats' for special mention in her coverage of the year's new roses on BBC2, saying that it was one of her favourites.

The names of many of those who donated to the cost of the WB Yeats Rose are listed below, including 2 patrons and Bord na Mona, who all made significant contributions.

Finally -

Yeats' lines, written so long ago, describe this rose perfectly:

'Men have named beauty. Thy great leaves enfold
The ancient beards, the helms of ruby and gold...'

[The Secret Rose, WB Yeats]


Thank you for your donation!



Patrons and some of the Friends of the WB Yeats Rose



Carmel Naughton
Arthur Livingstone
Bord na Mona


Deirdre Stewart
Eileen Monahan
David Raethorne
Sligo Tourist Development Association Ltd
Abbey Badges
Michael and Patricia O'Higgins
Esther Knibb
The Drumcliffe Tea House and Craft Shop
Diarmuid Gavin
John Mullaney Snr
Mary Mullaney and the late Thomas Mullaney
Sarah Brecht
Brendan Nelson
Finbar Filan
Sylvia Ripon & family
The Yeats Society
Damien Tansey
Coole Swan
Aleck Crichton
Wendy Lyons
Lester Knibb
Seamus Beirne
Saffron Thomas
Kathleen Greenan
Camilla McCormick
Andrina and Alan Walmsley
Joan Gallagher
Martina Hamilton
Michael Kirby
Daphne Turner
Audrey Irwin
Connie Scanlon
Sligo Garden Flowers
Sylvan Hare Arts
Martina Flynn
Judith McPeak
Naomi McBride
Charlie Martin
Liz Taylor
Gerry Finn
Jane O'Hara
Brigitte Perlat
Sabine Heuwing
Ringo Nischack
Vivian Draper
Lorely Forrester
Anne Connolly
Eddie & Olga Boyle
Hilda Higgins
Frank Higgins
Mark O'Callaghan
Marlene Horan
Helen McCormack
Ronan MacEvilly
Caitriona Yeats
Leo Gillan
Dympna Mullaney
Tamara McKinnon
Paula Murray
Diarmuid Delargy
Simeon Gillan
Simone Hickey
Clare Lynch
Hisami Nakamura
Meg Harper
Rick Stoops
Bettina Seitz
Cahal Dallat
Sean Golden
Philip Harrison
Zita Harrison
Doreen MacEvilly
Pauline Wray
Frank Campbell
John McLoughlin
Sinead Gallagher
Deirdre Stewart
Peter Bannon
Brian Crummy
John & Delysse Glynn
Martin Lariigan
Austin O'Callaghan
Eammon Carney
Linda Byrne
Tir na nOg
Ciara Draper
Cicely Gunton
Eileen McSharry
Kitty Kilfeather
Elizabeth Gillespie Wims
Olive Greene
Sandra Hunter
Catherine  Phelan
Ann Neary Lacken
Mary Waters
Maura Gilligan
Beatrice Macdonald
Edel Gallagher
Geraldine McGuinn
Mary Gilmartin
Richard Nicholson
Christina + Ronan Gallagher
Ellen O'Donnell
Rosemarie Downey
Maria Keeney
Mrs F Chapman
Kate Oram
Eileen Selby-Smith
Charlie Moss
Maura Doherty
Vincent McMonagle
Cherrie McIlwaine
Reg Maxwell
Julie Brown
John Harrington
Gemma Carr
Billy Doran
Roger Pessoa
Jodie Coughlan
Kieran Dunne
Mark O'Neill
Stephen Macken
Philip Reddin
Peter Nelson
Deirdre Nelson
Brendan Nelson
Hames Donohoe
Mary Robinson
Roisin Taggart
Fiona Cardiff
Sheila Jack
Grainne Cuddihy
Sheila Minogue
Mary Tobin
Fionn Rogers
Bernadette Tiffney
Maeve Clisssmann
Catherin Mahon
Maria Sleehan
Joan Robinson
Dympna Mannion
Claire Carpenter
Michael Kennedy
Tommy & Ann Kelly
Audrey Conlon
Kirsty Blake Knox
Patrick Jeff Obando
Danien Eagers
Hazel Lowry
Jennifer Wilson
Raffaela Trauchino
Jean O'Brien
Jane Brennan
Rosaleen Kiely
Margaret (McGovern) Dempsey
Serena Perceval
Alison Flack
Patricia Fitzsimons
Gay Elmes
Mary Maplan
Patricia Hoey
Nicloa Hoey
Seamus Sweeney
Ainhoa Boland
Darina Dolan
Pat Moony
Angela Treacy
Kathy Mayhew
B & Donal O'Shea
Pauline Collins
Tommie Coleman
Frances M Costello
Finola Cassidy
Sheila Bourke
Marvyn Henry
Dinah Adair
Eleanor Fitzgerald
Lynne-Marie Bye
Colm & Bridget O'Neill
Pat Benson
Michael G Gleeson
Maureen Sloyan
Teresa Cowley
Mary Flemin
P G Geraghty
Phil Sheeran
Margaret Sweeney
Teresa Kelly
Mags Gallagher
Therese Gallagher
Anne Egan
Leslie R Harper
Evelyn O'Reilly
Mary Martin
Mary Kikenny
Geraldine O'Flaherty
Adrienne Maguire
Patricia Hora
Tess O'Kennedy
Pat McManamly
Emer McEvaddy
Eithne Adams
Angela I Lagan
Mary Killeen McCarthy
Seaghan Sutton & Susan
Alan O'Grady
John Dennedy
Rachel Purdy
Claire Purdy
Bartley Fannin
Colin Tarpaz
Etain Kett
Mary Kett
Cliona Mhic Giolla Chuda
Anita McNicholas
Angela O'Beirne
Eithne McPhillips
Doris Arcler
Phyllis Elliott
Ena McCarthy
George Hunter
Anne Bower
Heather Bowen
Mary O'Brien
Frank O'Reilly
Patricia Dunne
Anne McIntyre
Mary Dick
Gwen Heaney
Erin Kyle
Mary K Forde
Geri Shaw
Jess Shannon
Ray Egan
Eleanor Hough
Mary O'Toole
Vera Doyle
Jerome McGirl
Pat McNulty
Norma O'Dowd
Jessica Bell
Joan Tromey
Veronica Hersey
Lucy Cranney
Maeve O'Connor
J & B Mulhall
Majella Nolan
Gary Jones
Patricia Keating
Barbara Hohoe
Sinead G Kavanagh
Alicia SM Kavanagh
Maire Kavanagh
Anne McCorristine
Frances Molloy
Gillian Ni Chaiside
Emily Fitzpatrick
Sophie Kennedy
Mary Cooney
Anne Morgan
Kathleen Lynch
Alicia Carrogg
Mary Martey
Mary Kavanagh
Rita Higgins
Anne Higgins
Christine O'Grady
Mary Butler
Angela Nolan
Teresa McVeigh
Antionette Lannagy
Deidre Lawlor
Sinead Shaw
Fiona Costello
Teresa McCann
K Fagan
Paula Fitzpatrick
Vincent Davey
Frances Roberts
Donal Coveney
Helen & S McManus
Valerie Feehan
Patricia O'Higgins
Hazel Clarke
Josephine Crotty Lyttle
Eddie & Meta Sweeney
Mary Keaveney
Marie Reilly
Barbara Whyte
Threasa Savage
Aileen Hall
Jill Womack
Celine O'Sullivan
Deborah Powell
Ann Kilawee
Scarisbrick Jamtira
Maire Ni Chualain
Brigit O'Driscoll
Ian Lumley
Elma Mathers
Anna McCormack
Mary Byrne
Valerie Fitzell
Mary Gillen
Myrtle J Nairn
Marie Devine
Fiona Forde
Helen & Fred Duffy
Doris Clements
Gabriel Grimes
Pat Hern
Paul Monahane
Marie Owens
Sandra Foley
Anne Gurney
Barbara Kahn
Gillian Smyth
Ruby Smyth
Cathy O'Gorman
Peter Bunn
Marcia Jones
Mandy Nolan
Noreen Connolly
Mary Swords
Barbara O'Leary
Rosemary Dillon
Pamela Brown
Joan Boyd
Phyl Stanley
Marie J Tobin
Jeanne Banks
Margaret Parsons
Leonie Cornilius
Bernard & Mary Nolan
Ann Browe
Kitty Scully
Tracy Hamilton
Eammon Sheridan
Chrystele Brunet-Lee
Jane L Kelly
Patricia Kelly
Donal Carey
Rory Newell
Deirdre Byrne
Martina Kelly
Claudine Brendergoot
Maire P NiConghaile
Denise Meade
Colette Herra
Bridie McGowan
Geraldine Glynn
Antoinette Glynn Kelly
Carol & Mark Wheeler
Lia Morelli
Deirdre Scott
Geraldine Gibbons
Kathleen Neary
Patricia Regan
Nora Kelly
Breda Bowe
Mary T Devine
Paitrise de Burgh
Mary Tallant
Shane Dolan
Christine Lambert
Bernie Walsh
Siobhan Clancy
Betty Murray
Michelle Yewlett
Suzanna Dooley
Mary Smith
Andrew Deltth Parkes
Kate Robinson
Barbara Cremins
Rosemary Clements
Eamon Smart
Maire McKay
Jenny Stein
Carol Stewart-Foley
Michael Marren
Richard Reid
Julie Gardiner
Vanessa Wixley
Brian Mangan
Mary White Mcey
Sheila McKey Phelan
Mary O'Callaghan
Mary F McAteer
Marlene and Renee
Mary Ennis
Mary Coffee
Breege Brennon
Sonny Higgins
Susan Moran
Maire Ni Dhomhnaill
Camilla Carle
Carol Rankin
Maria Collins
Irene Heavener
Madelene Dempsey
Maureen Finnegan
Ann Moore
Caroline Tansey
Lauralyne Flynn
Anne Mulrine
Joan Clarke
Joshua Wickham
Michael Meehan
Micheal Murphy
Leonie Appleby
Batherine McNally
Ian O'Toole
Maedhbh O'Neill
Barbara Hadden
Peter Smith
Bernie Byrne
Alison Williams
Teresa Bailey
Mick Bailey
Clare Burn
Rosaleen O'Connor
Pam O'Sullivan
Mary Miniter
Sandie Clacken
Gail Varian
Ruth Thompson
Edette O'Dea
Margaret Mitchell
Gerry & Kathy Walsh
Laura & Emma O'Neill
Paul & Kelli Johnston
Jim & Fidelma Fagan
Margaret Farrell
Bernard Martin
Joyce Meredith
Garry Rooney
Catherine Nolan
Eoin Gibbons
Mena Kenny
Graubbe Prior
Blaithin O'Doherty
Therese Hegarty
Mary Cummins
Margaret Doddy
Mary Baker
Grainne & Pat Doyle
Michael & Mary Haran
Dymphna & Gene O'Carroll
Orlaith & Siobra, Mark & Sheba O'Callaghan
Vincent Walsh
Maura Tansy
Marie Healy
Michica Meyms
Michael & Joyce Moloney
Frances McEntire
Mortimer Grogan
Donna Murphy
Jo Gore
Lynda Devaney
Tom Devaney
Monica Harrison
Evelyn Heron
Frances Healy
Margaret Richardson
Brigid Forrestal
Fionnuala Glacque
Thelma Kirwan
Louise Lynch
Juli McDonnell
Mary Murphy
Kitty O'Brien
Gilda Sisk
Nellie Vogler
Paul & Mary Monaghan
Rory Morahan
Brigid Judge
Nathy McIntyre
Florence Higgins
Edel Mooney
Grace Mac Sweeney
Eleiz O'Gorman
Fraoch Mac Sweeney
Aine Mac Sweeeney
Anne & Robert Foster
Carmel Mugan
Bernie McGowan
Grace Nolan
William Murphy
Hugh Logan
Mary Harrison
Donal Harrison
Matthew Lambert
Bernadette O'Neill
Mary Hassett
Mary Byrne
Martin Lynch
Daragh Thomas
Dedata Mihalikova
Sandra Walker
Ruth Kieran
Robert Kieran
Leo Kearns
Emer & John Cahill
Elizabeth Quinn
Michell Doyle
Cathal Hennelly
Frances McCormack
Anette Boland
Leo Boland
Niamh Mathews
John Molloy
Maura Caviston
Catherine Boyd
Grainne MacLoughlin
Gertie McDonnell
Anne-Marie Smyth
Theresa Bertolino
Emma Lucy Deegan
Ella Vaughan
Joan Reidy
Alex Sammon
Anne Dunphy
Mary Dunphy
Annette Head
Kitty Harvex
David Carnegie
Jessica Ann O'Reilly
Rosemary O Riordan
Sandra & Derrick Milling
Tim O'Hara
Vera O'Connor
Aideen Carroll
Margaret O'Shea
Teresa Van Locheln
Helen McGowan
Gerry Mcgowan
Ann Marie Wright
Helen Barry
Sarah Chamberlain
Liam & Breda Murphy
Sylvia Gallagher
Annette Gormalley
Mary Burke
Ealron Kennedy
Jack O'Sullivan
Dalia Smelstoriute
Jennifer Knight
Liam Wegimont
Anita Ross
Bernard Bresh
Betty Behan
Redmond Behan
Gerry Donnellan
Marie Saffe
Angela Tunney
Veronica Heywood
Ingrid Swan
Kieran Dunne



Get your Limited Edition A3 print of Holly Somerville's botanical painting of the WB Yeats Rose - while stocks last!

Order direct from Holly Somerville



Failte Ireland