Rosa Felicia Shrub (Hybrid Musk Roses)

Rosa Felicia, Open Flower with Bud
Rosa Felicia, Open Flower with Bud

Rosa Felicia is included in Hybrid Musk Roses, which was raised by the outstanding Joseph Hardwick Pemberton, Reverend by profession and Englishman by birth.

The Hybrid Musk Roses – which were the crown of the breeding work of this passionate with roses nobleman – have the following features:

  • The long-lasting aromatic flowering
  • The abundance of roses produced in gigantic clusters – abundance comparable to that of Polyanthas
  • And the robustness along with the beautiful appearance of the plants themshelves

The breeding strategy of the Reverend Pemberton was based on the successive crosses of the climber rose Rosa multiflora cv. ‘Trier (Hybrid Multiflora) and Musk Rose Rosa moschata cv. ‘Aglaia with selected roses of the groups Tea Roses, Hybrid Tea Roses and Hybrid Perpetual Roses.

The happy result of his efforts – which includes, of course, the Rosa Felicia – still adorns the gardens, charming our vision and skyrocketing the olfactory enjoyment.

(Note: This is not a preface of an article devoted to a rose variety but a description of the launch of Apollo 11 from the Kennedy Space Center.)

Blooming shrub of the hybrid Musk Rose, Rose ‘Felicia’.

Rosa 'Felicia' in Full Blooming
Rosa 'Felicia' in Full Blooming
Τυπωθήτω | Print

Rosa Felicia Shrub - General Information

The course of the creation of the Rose Felicia variety, along with its essential features and some concise identifications, are given below.

Facts in Short

Family: Rosaceae

Genus: Rosa

Scientific Name: Rosa ‘Felicia’

Common Names: Rose Felicia, Felicia Shrub Rose

Horticultural Group: Hybrid Musk – Modern Roses

Plant Breeder: Joseph Hardwick Pemberton, England before 1926 – 28

Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit 1993

Breeding & Features

The Hybrid Musk Rosa Felicia is a triploid variety of 2n = 21 (3×7) and arose by the cross of Rosa multiflora cv. ‘Trier’ with the Hybrid Tea Rose variety Rosa ‘Ophelia’.

The exact time of its creation is not known, but certainly before 1926 – the year that its breader has shuffled off this mortal coil – while it was Introduced in United Kingdom by John Bentall – continuator of Pemberton’s work – in 1928.

Rosa Felicia is a perennialwoody deciduous medium-sized shrub. From one parent, Rosa ‘Trier’, took the strength, vigor and durability, and Rosa ‘Ophelia’ from the other, the shape of the very beautiful double flower, the delicate pink color that varied yellow stamens, as well as the medium to strong intense sweet fragrance.

Its flowering is abundant and repetitive, starting from mid-spring to the end of summer – but under favorable conditions it can be prolonged.

In terms of size, the height of the plant varies between 1.2 and 3 m while its diameter is between 1.2 and 1.5 m. Its shape is hemispherical, has upright to arched habit and a dense, rather asymmetrical canopy with an irregular outline.

It is characterized as a coarse texture plant, while the dense foliage gives the Rosa Felicia a compact appearance.

Its life span is over 25 years.

Rosa Felicia Shrub (Hybrid Musk Roses)

This Rose variety is suitable for:

  • Specimen
  • Mass plantings
  • Informal hedges
  • Urban plantings
  • Pots & containers
  • Cut flowers
Climbing Hybrid Musk Rosa 'Felicia' & Diascia
Climbing Hybrid Musk Rosa 'Felicia' & Diascia

Rosa Felicia Shrub - Description

Rosa Felicia is a multi-branched shrub, with a few spiny and lengthy, slightly arching, shoots. Its leaves are composite, consisting of 5 to 7 leaflets, glossy, oval-shaped and toothed, with nice middle tone green color.

The profuse roses are formed on the edge of its annual shoots, in clusters – flat, rosette. They are semi-double, aromatic, and large, with a diameter of up to 7 cm. They consist of 16 to 25 petals, of moderately velvety texture, pink in color with salmon shadings to the center, which pale with age, varied by yellow stamens.

Although Rosa Felicia is characterized as a repeat bloomer rose shrub, it is not unusual during its long period of blooming not to totally lack flowers. If conditions favor it, it most often behaves like a continuous flowering rose.

The fragrance of its flowers is moderately strong to strong. The escalation of its intensity appears to be more or less related to the soil-climatic factors of the planting area. In addition, for the olfactory ‘tint’ of the aroma, the experts claim that is somewhat reminiscent of that of roll-your-own tobacco.

Without wishing to disagree, the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia‘ supports – with the exception of its permanently disagreeable member, and with the sensitivity of the nasal cavity of the other members, permanently smoothed by cigarettes smoke – that the fragance of Rosa Felicia reminds the aroma of just a musk rose.

Rosa Felicia Shrub (Hybrid Musk Roses)

The Flowers, Buds and Leaves of Rosa 'Felicia’ Hybrid Musk
The Flowers, Buds and Leaves of Rosa 'Felicia’ Hybrid Musk

Rosa Felicia Shrub - Environment of Establishment

Rosa Felicia grows in those areas where the temperature in the winter does not drop below -20 °C (USDA Hardiness Zone 6b) – a temperature that defines its lower tolerance. Of course fully established and acclimated plants can withstand minimal temperatures up to -23 without being damaged.

In any case, however, the plant needs protection from spring frosts, or avoid planting where they are prevalent, especially late ones.

In relation to the soil, Rosa Felicia can be grown on sandy loam to clay loam soils, which are fertile and rich in organic matter and additionally have excellent drainage but at the same time maintain the necessary soil moisture.

With respect to the soil pH, the appropriate range is quite large, ranging from 5.5 to 7.8. However, it thrives in soils with a slightly acidic reaction, ie at pH values ranging from 6 to 6.5.

For its exposure, are recommended sites of fully sunny or partial shade. The former are preferred in the colder areas, the latter in the warmer ones,  however, it is also true that in partial shade conditions, Rosa Felicia, but also and the other roses of the Hybrid Musk group in general, are extremely satisfying adapted.

Rosa Felicia Shrub (Hybrid Musk Roses)

Rosa 'Felicia’ Shrub and Lavandula sp. in Full Blooming
Rosa 'Felicia’ Shrub and Lavandula sp. in Full Blooming
Pink Roses in Garden

Rose Planting

In Garden, Pots & Containers

Rosa Felicia Shrub - Care

Caring for this rose shrub also includes Irrigation, Fertilization, Pruning and the necessary Plant Protection. For all this, the restless mind of the reader of ‘Kalliergeia‘ will find answers by clicking on the following electronically demonic links

However, as soon as he returns, he will be informed that Rosa Felicia although is not immune to the Phragmidium mucronatum (rose rust) and Podosphaera pannosa (powdery mildew) attacks, it is also true its particularly highly tolerance to these fungi, as well as to the other common pests and diseases of the rose.

Rosa Felicia Shrub (Hybrid Musk Roses)

Rosa Felicia Shrub - Use

Rosa Felicia is undoubtedly one of the most attractive rose shrubs, in relation both to the natural form of the plant and its rich and extremely fragrant flowering.

If we add to it the possibility of its utilization even in relatively poor soils, but also its vigor and its highly robustness, then we have a historical variety of rose that looks by an extremely optimistic view the future.

And sees it optimistic because in the present:

  • It is cultivated for its roses, which as cut flowers last in the vases from about 7 to 10 days
  • With the appropriate support, it is easily formed in a climbing
  • Used as a specimen plant placed on its own in a prominent position in the garden, or planting in groups
  • Creates excellent hedges – especially informal
  • It is used in the garden in conmpanion with other plants such as Heuchera ‘Chocolate Rues’, Lavandula angustifolia ‘Rosea’, Salvia nemorosa ‘Blaukonigin’ and Digitalis purpurea
  • Finally, it is planted in large-sized pots and containers, in sunny places


The References to the near-space article entitled Rosa Felicia Shrub (Hybrid Musk Roses), are presented by Giannis Haroulis, with the song Little Rose (Triantafyllaki), in lyrics and music by Apostolis Valaroutsos.

With Pomp and Circumstance

The song Triantafyllaki (Little Rose), in lyrics and music by Apostolis Valaroutsos, is performed by Giannis Haroulis, at a concert he gave at Gazi of Athens in the summer of 2016.

Play Video


The use of the material, where third-party rights are not mentioned or implied (such as photos or audiovisual files – with the exception of those belonging to "Kalliergeia"), is absolutely free. Its sharing, possibly, useful.

Skip to content