Do I call this a shrub? Hybrid Musk?

I have a cute seedling (“Little Lil”) from First Light x OP which has never once been without flowers since it was 4 weeks old. It’s now about 7 months old. First Light has quite a complex heritage and is the child of Bonica and Ballerina, a Hybrid Musk. Unfortunately, I don’t know the dad. From the looks of this seedling, I’d guess it might have been selfed. My Little Lil has a spicy scent. Am I justified in calling this a Hybrid Musk or must it be a shrub? How does one determine this?

Sure you can! “Hybrid Musk” seems to be a catch all term for all sorts of interesting crosses resulting in shrubby roses. Congratulations.

There aren’t currently any restrictions on how a hybridizer can classify a rose. I’ve heard that the IRAR is working on guidelines, but they probably won’t be very restrictive. The original hybrid musks got their name because of their musk scent. Many later hybrid musks have little or no scent.


“Normally” -thus with many possible exceptions- a rose belongs to its seed parent’s class.

“Hybrid Musks”, as a class that began with “Trier” from Peter Lambert, are actually somewhat of a hotch-potch, and I think more close to the Multifloras than anything else.

This said, they are very interesting, valuable roses with big landscaping qualities.

Best wishes,


Thanks everyone. We’ll see how she matures before I decide.