Friday, June 06, 2008

Mysterious Beauty

This does not appear to be a multiflora rose. This rose is distinctly different than that plant, which is an invasive species. However, I can't tell you exactly what this species is. The other native rose species for which I can find photographs or that are detailed in fieldguides all seem to produce single flowers, not the flowered clumps like this one. This week I was able to look at both this rose and the multiflora rose, and listed are the most obvious differences.

1. The flowers of this rose are quite pink. The multiflora rose is white, with just the palest tinge of pink.

2. The leaves of this rose are a darker green, by at least a shade or two, than the leaves of the multiflora rose.

3. The thorns of this rose are just like the thorns of cultivated roses, not like the thinner thorns of the multi-flora rose.

4. The leaves of this rose are more distinctly veined and perhaps a bit smaller than the multiflora rose.

5. The scents of the two are slightly different. This plant has a scent that is more like a cultivated rose--it's more "rosy" than than the multiflora rose.

I suppose it is possible that this is a different variety of multiflora rose, though I hope not. No one near me grows cultivated roses either, so I can't imagine that it's an escape. Is it possible that it is a cross between the white multiflora rose and a wilder or a cultivated species? I don't know the answer to that one either. All I can say is that there are a lot of differences between the multifloras and this plant.


Lynne said...

It looks like what we call "ditch roses" around here. Very pretty.

Carolyn H said...

Lynne: “My” rose looks rather like rosa acicularis (wild rose, aka prickly wild rose, prickly rose arctic rose) but I’m a bit far south for that.

There’s also rosa arkansana (wild prairie rose aka Arkansas rose, meadow rose or smooth rose) but the leaves are different and the range isn’t quite right. Still, this species has an interesting propensity for genetic drift.

Rosa Carolina (Carolina or pasture rose) is one of the single flowered roses and it has those needle-like thorns similar to multiflora rose, not the heavy curved thorns like my rose does.

Then there’s rosa palustra (swamp rose) and rosa viginiana (Virginia rose, aka common wild rose or prairie rose) both of which have curved thorns but also have the single flowers.

Is your head hurting yet? Mine is.

Carolyn H.

Cathy said...

What ever it is, it's a pretty flower.