Symposium on breeding Hybrid Musk roses

I’m checking to see if their is any interest in having a symposium on Hybrid Musk rose breeding for an upcoming RHA newsletter. It seems ironic that one of the most beautiful types of roses doesn’t get much discussion by rose breeders, certainly not on this forum. Surely, there are some breeders working with this type of rose. I have dabbled a bit and intend to step it up. Even an article for such a symposium assessing the performance of these cultivars in the landscape would be helpful.


There are lots of articles out there on Hybrid Musk in breeding programs. Here are a few.


I bought ‘Cornelia’ to begin playing with for this reason… I was toying with a few ideas such as putting ‘Mutabilis’ with it to go for some Lens-like HM roses and also mixing it with bracteata and clinophylla (I have over 40 clinophylla seedlings growing away now and it will be interesting to see how much variation there is in this batch as they were from OP clinophylla hips… opportunity here I reckon to choose a clinophylla for every occassion LOL… will plant them up the driveway I think… the thought of growing out 40 clinophylla to maturity is a bit daunting atm). The only rose I want to buy this winter is ‘Trier’ for this reason as well… would love to put hulthemia onto both ‘Cornelia’ and ‘Trier’ to see if a HM-type bush with the drought hardiness of the hulthemia and the lovely arching architecture of the HM (and the blotch… of course :wink: ) can be created and now that I have some ‘Altissimo’ x ‘Euphrates’ seeds, that I’ll do embryo extractions on soon, I’m hoping I’ll be set to do this over the next season or two. A HM that has surprised me a little this year is ‘Pax’. It’s a triploid with no descendents to speak of yet mine has made quite a few OP hips this year (its first year in the ground), over-flowing with seeds shrugs… might explore this as a pollen parent next season to see if the larger flower size can be passed on with the HM style. Not real good on the spot-resistance front here and I think the heat knocks it around a bit. ‘Cornelia’ seems to be the pick of the crop here so far.

I got trier last Fall to play with this idea of creating hytbrid musks. I am planning on putting pollen from one of Pauls seedlings he sent me (Gloden Angel X L-83) on Trier and see what happens. Simon, I had planned on putting Persian Sunset pollen on Trier in the future also.


I use Trier every year!


I also bought Cornelia to work with. I would ave bought Trier but more people where working wit it and I wanted to work with something a little bit different. Plus I saw Cornelia growing in Virginia several years back and jut feel in love with it.

I have some info on the very early history of HMusks, from Pemberton. I also have some info on the RRD susceptibility of HMusks, both of which could be useful for context.

It isn’t very available, but I’d love to see more done with Opal Brunner. Imagine a very limber, constant blooming, as fragrant, THORNLESS Cornelia.

Opal Brunner photos on HMF are certainly nice.

I’d never seen it before finding it in The Study Plot at The Huntington. It’s one I made SURE got propagated very early and we rooted it annually. Makes a wonderful arching shrub or climber to about 7’, In my desert garden, the foliage is dark green with very bronzy new growth. It sets copious hips and flowered year round. A very nice plant! I didn’t prune it as it was a huge area and it bordered the community golf course. It was approximately four feet high by about six feet in diameter.

It looks like a nice plant for southern gardens. By the looks of the stems and leaves, it would probably sulk here and resent any type of pruning. It looks a lot more china/tea than Cornelia does. Personally, I love the Lens HMusks, even though very few of them even have a trace of noisette, let alone musk, in them lol.

Bloomfield Dainty is pretty cool. It is very simple yet pretty. I am growing some OP seeds from it right now. It is overly upright, though. I think Plaisanterie looks very natural and graceful. It is also pretty cool. I love Danae but it will mildew =( I usually stay away from most HMusks though because they will even mildew here.

I am on the fence about Ghislaine de F

I’m a little confused about hybrid musk classification. As a group is it right there is little moschata in them and more multiflora in them (ref. Paul’s website). If so then the name ‘hybrid musk’ is just a name rather than an indication of heritage… ok… I can live with that (therefore, is it right that I can call any of my hybrid multiflora; hybrid musks (assuming they fit the description of a HM…I know I can call them anything I want regardless of breeding, I just like to know these things)???). Anyway, if I was to obtain moschata and brunonii and make hybrids with them would they be hybrid musks or hybrid moschata/brunonii?

I love the look of this:


John has two others of interest, also.

This and the one below. 'JASDarter' Rose


I’ve been playing with Nur Mahal, mostly crossing with Macredsaus (a red ground cover), has produced some nice dark, and bright red mini’s.


Macredsaus is probably a 2nd or 3rd generation descendant of Eyeopener. McGredy loved using it for whatever reason.

Thanks, I’ve not been able to find any info on Macredsaus. Other than bred by Sam McGreedy and released in '98.

Has given me some interesting seedlings. Ive only used it as a seed parent.


Thanks for all your responses.

It’s difficult to say if there is enough current work to have a symposium on Hybrid Musk breeding for a RHA newsletter. I tend to think not but I’ll let Peter decide whether to have one or not.

Regarding my own work, among other things I would like to develop a pink type of ‘Sally Holmes’. Perhaps ‘Armada’ x ‘Ballerina’ or ‘Belinda’.

I think it is possible to develop a cold hardier type of rose similar in appearance to the Hybrid Musk cultivars displaying the Rosa multiflora characteristics. As I mentioned before, surely they are the most beautiful in the landscape. This means using ‘Ames Climber’ or developing cold hardy (Zone 3) Rosa woodsii x Rosa multiflora species hybrids to begin with. I intend to do the latter this year.

By the way, ‘Ames Climber’ although it usually does relatively okay in Zone 3 (Canadian) is actually a Zone 4 rose.

Paul, I would try Armada x Bukavu if you want to follow that line of thought. Bukavu is superior to Ballerina and Belinda, in my opinion. For example, Ballerina mildews here while Bukavu is clean.

Anyone who wants to participate in a Newsletter symposium on breeding HMsks should send articles, comments, etc to me. If we get enough response, we’ll have such a symposium. If there’s interest in it, I’m all for it. It’s your Newsletter.

“Hybrid Musks” are durable, relatively hardy, and quite productive in their season. Unfortunately, their season seems to be mostly spring, and they have a very limited color range. They pretty much take a break in summer and then come back with a half-sized flush in the fall. One challenge is to keep them blooming all summer without losing their cold hardiness. The color poses another challenge: you can have any color you want as long as it’s a shade of pink, red, or white. Anyone for a yellow HMsk?

Thoughts? Speculations? Suggestions?

You know where to reach me. Use the link by my name.