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A dwarf, compact bush 1 to 2 ft high, of rounded form, armed with numerous strongly curved or hooked prickles usually intermixed with glandular bristles and needles. Leaves 1 to 2 in. long, with five or seven leaflets, which are elliptic or roundish, 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long, coarsely but evenly compound-toothed, the teeth, rachis, stipules, and undersurface copiously glandular. Flowers white, solitary or two or three together. Pedicels very short, glandular. Sepals pinnately lobed, glandular-toothed and ciliate. Fruits roundish, red, about 1⁄2 in. wide, smooth or with a few short needles or bristles, devoid of sepals.
Native of S.W. Russia, Asia Minor, and the Balkans. This interesting and pretty little rose forms a dense mass of interlacing, very spiny twigs. It is allied to R. pulverulenta (glutinosa) but has coarser, mostly hooked prickles nearly always mixed with bristles and needles, white flowers and smaller fruits; also, although glandular it is not strongly aromatic like that species. Its armature distinguishes it from R. sicula, in which needles and bristles are lacking and the whole plant less glandular.
In Loudon, Encyclopaedia of Plants (1829), p. 444, the botanical part of which was the work of Lindley. This is a conventional renaming of the R. ferox of Bieberstein, which that author had confused with the earlier R. ferox of Miss Lawrance (for which see under R. rugosa). Lindley had listed R. ferox Lawrance on a previous page and had to find a new name for R. ferox Bieb. The name R. biebersteinii Lindl. is not invalidated by R. biebersteiniana Tratt. (1823), a synonym of R. canina sometimes wrongly cited as R. biebersteinii. The name R. horrida would be correct if Fischer had expressly intended it as a new name for R. ferox Bieb., but this is not the case.