Friday, May 21, 2010

A rose by any other name...

Today, if you'll permit me, will be a small lesson in telling a native wild rose from the invasive multiflora rose. The photo above is a native wild rose, the Carolina rose (aka pasture rose).  This is the only plant of it I've seen at Roundtop.  It grows along the lane up to the cabin. It's a lovely shade of medium pink, with dark green leaves. The rosebuds are especially pink.

Almost directly across the lane from it is one of many multiflora rose plants that have sprung up around the mountain.  Were it not an invasive, introduced species that pushes out native growth, I would likely report this was also a pretty plant, if not as stunning as the Carolina rose. 

The multiflora rose is paler than the native rose, and in some plants a pink shade to the flowers is barely visible.  In many plants the flowers appear white.  The leaves are a slightly paler shade of green than the  Carolina rose sports, but you really have to see the leaves side by side to notice that.  Another difference is that the multiflora rose produces flowers that are less clumped than the Carolina rose.  Multflora flowers are spread out along the flower stems, while the Carolina's flowers grow in distinct clumps of buds. 
The differences between the two seem slight and may be difficult to discern unless you can look at both plants at once, as I am able to.  I wish I didn't have that opportunity. 

I can report that despite their proximity, the Carolina rose plant is large and healthy, larger than it was last year.  I hope it stays that way. 

1 comment:

Ann Flowers said...

Stunning picture of the flowers, will definitely make my day. Keep posting.