Rosa hugonis Hemsl.

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

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'Rosa hugonis' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2022-08-09.



  • R. xanthina sens . Boulenger, in part, not Lindl.
  • ? R. pteragonis W. Krause ex Kordes


Enlarged end of a flower stalk that bears floral parts; (in some Podocarpaceae) fleshy structure bearing a seed formed by fusion of lowermost seed scales and peduncle.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
With an unbroken margin.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
(botanical) Contained within another part or organ.


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

Recommended citation
'Rosa hugonis' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2022-08-09.

A bush up to 8 ft high and more in diameter; branches slender, sometimes gracefully arching, armed with straight, flattened spines of varying length, which are associated on the barren shoots with numerous bristles; sometimes, too, the barren shoots may bear thin, flattened, triangular prickles, red and translucent, very like those of R. sericea var. pteracantha though not so large. Leaves 1 to 4 in. long. Leaflets five to eleven, elliptic or obovate, 14 to 34 in. long, finely toothed, deep grass green, perfectly glabrous on both sides. Flowers 2 in. across, cup-shaped, bright yellow, solitary on short lateral twigs. Pedicels slender, 34 in. or less long, glabrous. Receptacle glabrous; sepals 12 in. long, entire, not prolonged at the apex. Fruits globose, blackish red when ripe, the calyx persisting at the top. Bot. Mag., t. 8004.

A native of N.W. China; described in 1905 from a plant raised at Kew from seeds sent to England by Father Hugh Scallan (Pater Hugo). Little is known of him, but he collected in Shensi for his fellow-missionary Giraldi and no doubt the seed was collected in that province. Giraldi too sent seed of this species, to Germany, from which plants were raised. R. hugonis is closely allied to R. xanthina, in which it is included by Boulenger without distinction. Apart from the presence of bristles on the strong shoots, which typical R. xanthina lacks, it also differs in its more finely toothed, more numerous, perfectly glabrous leaflets.

R. hugonis is a most charming rose, and shares with R. sericea the distinction of being one of the earliest species to flower, usually by mid-May. It is beautiful even when not in flower, for its luxuriant, feathery masses of foliage. It is perfectly hardy and free when grown on its own roots, but does not thrive when grafted on Canina stocks. The group of plants at Kew near the old Pinus pinea are the originals from the seeds sent by Father Hugh Scallan and therefore more than three-quarters of a century old (1979).

The armature of R. hugonis is very variable. In the original introduction, bristles, at least permanent ones, seem to be confined to strong shoots, though the warts on the branches may be the swollen bases of transient bristles. In plants found by Wilson in the Min Valley of N.W. Szechwan bristles and needles extend even to the flowering wood. These wild plants, like those raised at Kew from the seed sent by Father Hugh, occasionally bore prickles on the strong shoots remarkably like those of R. sericea var. pteracantha. A yellow-flowered rose with similar wing-prickles was found by Farrer in Kansu, not far to the north of the Min Valley, and was introduced by him (Farrer 783). The existence of pteracanthous forms of R. hugonis suggests the possibility at least that some roses in cultivation which combine translucent wing-prickles with yellow flowers are forms of R. hugonis and not hybrids between it and R. sericea var. pteracantha as usually supposed. Such plants are usually grouped together under the heading R × pteragonis, this being the name given to a plant raised in Germany and supposed to be R. sericea var. pteracantha × R. hugonis. One of the roses in question is ‘Hidcote Gold’, of which the original plant grew at Hidcote Manor. It is said to have been raised from seeds collected by Forrest, though, if indeed it is of wild provenance, it is more likely to have been introduced by Farrer (see above). Before Forrest attained his later renown the prefix ‘F’ before a seed-number indicated Farrer. ‘Hidcote Gold’ makes an arching bush to 6 ft high and agrees with the plants seen by Farrer in the large, flattened prickles of its stems and the bright yellow flowers, which open in early summer.