Rosa macrophylla Lindl.
Synonyms: R. alpina (pendulina) var. macrophylla Boulenger
A shrub 8 to 12 ft high, with erect stems and arching branches, sometimes unarmed but usually furnished with straight prickles up to 1⁄2 in. long, more or less directed upwards, often paired at the nodes. Leaves up to 8 in. long, consisting of from five to eleven leaflets which are 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, elliptic, elliptic-oblong or elliptic-ovate, usually acute or acuminate at the apex, more rarely obtuse, glabrous above, usually downy and sometimes glandular beneath, toothed almost to the base, the teeth simple or compound, usually twenty or more on each side of the longest leaves. Stipules usually broad and often red-tinged. Flowers in June or July, 2 to 3 in. across, deep dog-rose pink or bluish pink, solitary, or more commonly, in bracted clusters of up to five. Pedicels and receptacles more or less glandular bristly. Sepals entire (very rarely with one or two lateral appendages), 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, expanding into a leafy tip, more or less glandular on the back. Stigmas woolly. Fruits flagon-shaped to roundish, up to 11⁄2 in. long, always with a more or less distinct neck at the apex, crowned by the persistent sepals.
Native of the Himalaya, with close relatives in China. This fine rose was introduced about 1818, and is among the handsomest of the genus in its fruits, which often hang in numerous clusters. In describing R. macrophylla, Lindley remarked on its similarity to the European R. pendulina (which he knew as R. alpina). In this century, Boulenger went so far as to make it no more than a variety of that species. The difference, according to him, is in average characters, R. macrophylla having the prickles usually twinned at the nodes (rarely so in R. pendulina), its leaflets somewhat longer, more frequently downy beneath, with more numerous teeth, and the inflorescence more frequently many-flowered.
Some of the roses of W. China are closely allied to R. macrophylla but in the present state of our knowledge it seems better to regard them as distinct species. See further under R. moyesii. The varieties of R. macrophylla named by Vilmorin from introductions by the French missionaries have been disposed of as follows: var. acicularis is transferred to R. davidii; var. rubrostaminea is, according to Rehder, a form of R. moyesii; var. crasseaculeata probably belongs to R. setipoda.
cv. ‘Korolkowii’. – Stems stout, almost thornless, purplish red. Leaves mostly of nine leaflets up to 21⁄2 in. long, half as wide, glandular and silky-hairy on the veins beneath. Flowers pink, 21⁄2 in. wide. Receptacle very glandular. Fruits vermilion, 11⁄2 to 2 in. long, tapering to the base (R. korolkowii Lav.; R. macrophylla var. korolkowii (Lav.) Vilm. & Bois). The original plant grew in the Segrez Arboretum and was propagated by Vilmorin, but its origin is uncertain. It is possibly the same as the R. cinnamomea var. korolkowii of Regel’s Tentamen and, if so, it was found by Korolkow in a garden at Khiva in Uzbekistan. It is surprising, however, that even a cultivated form of R. macrophylla should have found its way to an area so far from the western limit of the species.
cv. ‘Master Hugh’. – Fruits strikingly large, globose to ovoid. Raised from seeds collected by Stainton, Sykes and Williams in Nepal in 1954. Award of Merit 1966, when exhibited by Maurice Mason of Talbot Manor, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and named by him. The original wild plant was 15 ft high, growing on a steep hillside among conifers at Kali Gandakhi.
R. ‘Rubricaulis’. – Young stems bloomy, they and the rachis, stipules, bracts and receptacles dark purplish red. This beautiful but slightly tender rose was named by Messrs Hillier and raised by them from Forrest 15309, collected in the Yungpei mountains of N.W. Yunnan at 9,000 ft in 1917. The seeds were originally distributed as R. macrophylla, under which ‘Rubricaulis’ is listed by Messrs Hillier, but Forrest’s corresponding field-specimen was later identified by Byhouwer as R. davidii var. elongata, a variety which could constitute a link between R. davidii and R. macrophylla. From F. 14958, also now referred to this variety, Messrs Hillier raised ‘Glaucescens’, with glaucous leaves and pruinose stems. The seeds were collected by Forrest on the Mekong-Salween divide, N.W. Yunnan.
For ‘Auguste Roussel’, a hybrid between R. macrophylla and a Tea rose, see p. 172.
R. saturata Bak. – A close ally of R. macrophylla found by Wilson in W. Hupeh and bordering Szechwan, and introduced by him in 1907. The leaflets are lanceolate, acute, almost 2 in. long, whitish beneath, and the large pink flowers are usually solitary. Evidently a handsome species, but perhaps no longer in cultivation in Britain. It was described from a plant in Miss Willmott’s garden, raised from the Wilson seed.