The Hybrid Musks are the result of Rev. Joseph Pemberton's ambitious breeding work of the early part of the 20th century. The heritage of this class is a very mixed one, and in many ways it is deceptive to refer to them as Hybrid Musks, as R. moschata didn't play a very big part in the developement of these roses.
The majority of them have the Multiflora Rambler 'Trier' as a parent or grandparent. 'Trier' is listed as being 'Aglaia' (R. multiflora X 'RÍve d'Or') X unknown. As is the case with several of the Hybrid Musks, you can see there is a greater affinity to the Noisettes than the name suggests. The soft buff and honey hues that made this class a favorite are, in part, derived from the Noisettes and Teas. For example, 'Buff Beauty' is a cross of 'William Allen Richardson' X unknown...making it at least 50% Noisette. ('William Allen Richardson' is a sport of 'RÍve d'Or')
One other major contributing parent was 'DanaŽ', a cross of 'Trier' and the deep pink Hybrid Perpetual, 'Gloire de Chťdane-Guinoisseau'. There is no R. moschata present there. In some cases, the yellow pigmenting came from the early Hybrid Teas as well. Such is the case with 'Francesca', a cross of 'DanaŽ' X 'Sunburst', a strong yellow-orange Pernet-Ducher hybrid from 1912.
No matter what their genetic pedigree, these are beautiful shrubs, often of a moderate size with wider-than-tall growing habits, making some of them suitable as small climbers. ('Buff Beauty' for example) They are also greatly appreciated for their overall excellent health. Blackspot is often not an issue at all with the Hybrid Musks! I have occasionally seen some Blackspot on my 'Penelope's, but only on lower leaves, and under very stressful conditions. I have never seen leaf diseases on 'Buff Beauty'!
Original photographs and site content © Paul Barden 1996-2003