Rosa eglanteria L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rosa eglanteria' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rosa/rosa-eglanteria/). Accessed 2022-01-23.

Genus

Common Names

  • Sweet Brier
  • Eglantine

Synonyms

  • R. rubiginosa L.

Glossary

calcareous
Relating to lime- or chalk-rich soils or water.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glandular
Bearing glands.
hybrid
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rosa eglanteria' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/rosa/rosa-eglanteria/). Accessed 2022-01-23.

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, 112 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’.


R micrantha Sm

An ally of R. eglanteria, differing in its more arching branches, the absence of needle-like prickles on the branchlets, leaves less strongly scented, styles glabrous, stylar aperture narrower, sepals soon deciduous. A native of Europe, N. Africa, Asia Minor and the Caucasus; in Britain it is less committed to calcareous soils than the true sweet brier. Of little value in gardens.Two other allies of R. eglanteria occurring locally in the British Isles are R. agrestis Savi and R. elliptica Thuill. For these see Clapham, Tutin and Warburg, Flora of the British Isles.