Hybrid Musk Roses
Old-rose fanciers in the North use the hybrid musk roses to extend the
flowering season of their gardens, because although the hybrid musks have the
hardiness and ever blooming habit of
modern roses, their modest, softly shaded blossoms are closer in style to
those of centuries past, and their musk perfume has a delicate antique flavor.
In fact, this class is a latecomer that dates only to the turn of this
century. It originated with a cross of a repeat-blooming but cold-sensitive
Noisette rose with a hybrid of the tough and hardy
Chinese species Rosa multiflora.
The hybrid musk roses are not spectacular plants. The blossoms range in size
from 3/4 to 3 in (1.9 to 7.6cm). Because their stems are long and flexible, they
may be trained along a fence or pruned back from time
to time to form a lanky shrub.
- 'Belinda' Roses (Introduced - 1936)
- 'Belinda' rose produces large erect clusters of semi-double flowers
almost continuously throughout the growing season. The
soft medium pink blooms are 1 inch or less across, have 12
to 15 petals, and emit a light fragrance. When seen at close
range, the blooms show off white centers.
Plants are vigorous, upright, and bushy, and can either be
maintained as a dense hedge by pruning or be trained to
a pillar. They are quite disease resistant and, like most
hybrid musks, adaptable to light shade.
- 'Ballerina' Roses (Introduced - 1937)
- A good rose for mild climates, 'Ballerina' also flourishes in the
North. At the northern edge of its range, winter cold may kill
it back almost to the ground, but typically it will send up new
shoots to provide a good show of flowers the following summer.
'Ballerina' bears abundant, large trusses of small, pink, single
flowers, each with a white eye and bright yellow stamens. It can be
grown in a mixed border or as a hedge, allowed to cascade over a
wall, or even trained as a climber, producing clouds of blossoms all
season, followed by small, bright orange hips in the fall.
- 'Buff Beauty' Roses (Introduced - 1939)
- The color of the 3- to 4-inch double flowers of
'Buff Beauty' ranges from buff yellow to deep apricot, depending on
weather conditions. Richly fragrant, flattened blossoms
are borne in clusters. The abundant foliage emerges
bronze-red, turning a glossy dark green as it matures.
Canes are smooth and brown.
This rose is a very attractive plant with a graceful, arching habit and is often
broader than it is tall. This rose requires a lot of space but makes a lovely
specimen. This rose can also be trained to
a pillar or wall, or can be used as a ground cover on banks.
- 'Cornelia' Roses (Introduced - 1925)
- Northern winters will not
bother this rose, nor will southern summers. The long,
arching canes of 'Cornelia' spread gracefully to make a large, attractive
shrub, or they can be tied in while still young and trained along a
fence or over an arch. If restrained by an annual pruning after the
end of the first flush of blossoms, this rose will make a mound 5 ft
(1.5m) high and wide. As a climber, its canes may reach several feet
more. In June, 'Cornelia' covers itself with clusters of small, very
double and fragrant, apricot-pink flowers with gold stamens. The
bloom continues well into fall.
- 'Danaë' Roses (Introduced - 1913)
- Its dark, shiny foliage provides an elegant setting for the little
egg-yolk yellow flower buds of 'Danäe'. These open into
clusters of creamy, 2 in (5cm), semi double flowers with delicately
ruffled petals. Their strong scent is described as a combination of
fruit and musk. This rose makes a wonderful show in the fall,
with its combination of repeat bloom and orange-red hips.
Though hardy in the North and in southern Canada, this rose is an outstanding
performer in warmer climates. It does especially well in the Southeast, where
its canes may reach a length of 12 ft (3.6m). In the South,
these rose is also shade tolerant, flourishing with
only a couple of hours of full sun daily.
- 'Erfurt' Roses (Introduced - 1939)
- Buds of 'Erfurt' are rosy red, long, and pointed, opening to
deep cerise-pink semi-double flowers with white centers and
bright golden yellow stamens. Once plants begin to bloom,
they continue nonstop until frost. The flowers exude a
pleasing musky fragrance. Foliage is leathery and wrinkled
with a coppery green tone that enhances the brightly
colored flowers. Stems are brown with hooked prickles.
The plants are vigorous and bushy, with arching canes that
may spread outward to 6 feet. The long show of blooms and
abundance of attractive foliage make 'Erfurt' rose an
outstanding garden shrub for beds or borders. Like other
hybrid musks, this rose is disease resistant and tolerates
some shade and poor soil.
- 'Lavender Lassie' Roses (Introduced - 1960)
- While not exactly lavender, the semi double, strongly scented
flowers of this hybrid musk do have definite overtones of
blue mixed in with the pink, and the large clusters in which they
appear make them even more striking.
With occasional pruning, 'Lavender Lassie' can be maintained as a large
shrub or as an informal hedge, but its canes can also be left to grow
unchecked and trained vertically up a wall or trellis.
- 'Penelope' Roses (Introduced - 1924)
- The salmon-colored buds of 'Penelope' open to shell pink
blooms that fade to white as they age. Borne in huge
clusters, the semi-double flowers display bright yellow stamens
at their centers. Fragrance is rich and musky. In fall, small
coral hips decorate the canes for several weeks. Leaves are
glossy, ribbed, and dark green.
Plants are vigorous and dense, and they grow equally tall and wide. This rose is
a good choice for a flowering hedge or for combining with other flowering shrubs
or perennials in beds. This rose can tolerate partial shade and is
fairly disease resistant, but may be prone to mildew.
- 'Prosperity' Roses (Introduced - 1919)
- The buds of 'Prosperity' rose are pale pink and open to reveal
1 1/2-inch double ivory flowers that often display a pink
blush. The blossoms are fragrant, appear all season in
large, heavy clusters, and show off well against the
abundant dark, glossy foliage.
This rose is a vigorous grower with an upright habit; its erect canes arch
gracefully from the weight of the flowers. The bush can be as wide as it is tall
and requires a large space in the garden. This rose makes a fine flowering hedge and
tolerates partial shade.
- 'Will Scarlet' Roses (Introduced - 1947)
- The bright red buds of 'Will Scarlet' rose open to vivid rose red
semi-double flowers that lighten in color toward the flower
center. Hot weather tends to induce shades of lilac at the
center, which makes an especially pleasing contrast with
the flowers' numerous yellow stamens. The flowers are
delicately scented. Plants bloom profusely in spring and again
in fall. The blooms are followed by clusters of round
This rose can be grown as a large shrub, best maintained
at 6 to 7 feet with a nearly equal spread. This rose is also a fine climber,
reaching up to 12 feet on a trellis or pillar. This rose has
a graceful, arching form, and it tolerates partial shade.