Rosa rugosa Thunb.

Rosa rugosa flowers

Family - Rosaceae

Stems - Woody, with dense straight prickles, hirsute, erect to clambering, to +1m tall. Prickles pubescent (at least at base).

Leaves - Alternate, odd-pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets. Stipules to 3cm long, 1cm broad, ciliate and glandular margined, glandular and pubescent below, glabrous above. Leaf rachis with prickles below, densely pubescent. Leaflets elliptic to rotund, crenate-serrate, glandular and pubescent below, glabrous and shiny above, rugose, 5-6cm long, 3-4cm broad.

Rosa rugosa leaf

Inflorescence - Single flowers from upper leaf axils. Peduncles to 1.7cm long, 3mm in diameter, densely glandular pubescent and non-glandular pubescent.

Flowers - Petals 5, rose, 4.5cm broad, 4cm long, free, glabrous, emarginate to obcordate, scented. Stamens very many (+100). Filaments white, glabrous, 6-7mm long. Anthers yellow, 2.1mm long, 1.2mm broad. Sepals 5, alternating with petals, lanceolate, joined at base, densely glandular pubescent below, pubescent above and on margins. Hypanthium subglobose, somewhat flattened, glaucous to moderately covered with prickles. Seeds many, crinite, with a hornlike protrusion.

Rosa rugosa hypanthium

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Cultivated and rarely escaped.

Origin - Native to Asia.

Other info. - I first read about R. rugosa in "This Old House Magazine", Sept./Oct. 1996. It's a great article and talks about the history and uses of the plant. Apparently the plant is quite popular on the island of Nantucket.
Personally, I'm not a huge rose fan, but this plant is nice. Nice to look at perhaps, but don't touch it. The stems are dense with stiff prickles. They may not be hooked prickles, but they can do damage none the less.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-1-00.


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