There are no active references in this article.
An erect bush with arching branches, 6 to 8 ft high in gardens; stems and branches armed with numerous, scattered, hooked prickles, sometimes with the addition of stiff bristles on the flowering branchlets. Leaflets five, seven, or sometimes nine, ovate or roundish, compoundly toothed, nearly or quite glabrous above, covered beneath with sweet-smelling glands. Flowers pale pink, 11⁄2 in. across, produced singly, in threes or sevens or even more together; pedicels and sepals bristly-glandular. Styles hairy. Fruits bright red, shining, egg-shaped, crowned with the persistent sepals.
Native of Europe and N. Africa, and with the dog rose one of the summer delights of English hedgerows, wherever the soil is calcareous. It is not so strong a grower as the dog rose, has smaller leaves, and is always distinguished by the sweet fragrance of the leaves. On this account, and unlike the dog rose, it may well be grown in gardens. It makes a charming low hedge clipped back annually in spring before growth recommences. The fragrance is most perceptible after a shower, and whenever the atmosphere is fresh and moist.
Double-flowered forms or hybrids of the sweet brier have been cultivated since the 17th century, and two raised before 1800 are still available; see ‘Manning’s Blush’, p. 189.
R. eglanteria is one of the parents of a beautiful group of garden roses known as the Penzance Briers, which were raised by Lord Penzance from 1884 onwards by fertilising the flowers of this species with other species or with hybrid garden varieties. See further on p. 166.
The name R × penzanceana is not a collective name for the Penzance Briers. It is founded on ‘Lady Penzance’, a hybrid between R. eglanteria and R. foetida ‘Persiana’.
From the Penzance brier ‘Lucy Ashton’ the German nurseryman Hesse raised ‘Magnifica’, which was used by Wilhelm Kordes to produce many shrub roses, including the beautiful ‘Fritz Nobis’.