Rosa pendulina L.

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

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



Sharply pointed.
Fused with a different part by having grown together. (Cf. connate.)
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Made up or consisting of two or more similar parts (e.g. a compound leaf is a leaf with several leaflets).
With an unbroken margin.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Bearing glands.
Central axis of an inflorescence cone or pinnate leaf.
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.
(of a leaf) Unlobed or undivided.


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

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

A suckering shrub of variable habit, averaging 2 to 4 ft high, but occasionally reaching 10 ft and sometimes very dwarf; stems and branches usually reddish brown, often almost unarmed, prickles when present slender; sometimes the stems and even the branchlets are quite densely furnished with needles and/or bristles (see cv. ‘Malyi’). Leaves 2 to 6 in. long, with mostly seven or nine leaflets; rachis glabrous or downy, usually glandular. Leaflets variable in shape, mostly elliptic to broadly so, and acute at the apex, glabrous above, under-surface glandular or not, sometimes downy, teeth simple or compound, often glandular. Stipules more or less glandular, the adnate part commonly widening upwards, more rarely parallel sided. Flowers solitary or in twos or threes, deep pink or purplish pink, 112 to 212 in. wide, opening in May. Pedicels and receptacle smooth or clad with turpentine-scented glandular bristles. Sepals usually entire, more or less expanded at the apex, smooth or glandular on the back, variable in length. Stigmas hairy. Fruits red, flagon-shaped to roundish, usually constricted at the apex, smooth or bristly, often pendulous, up to 114 in. long, crowned by the persistent sepals. Bot. Mag., t. 6724.

Native of southern and central Europe, ascending in the Alps to almost 8,000 ft; cultivated since the 17th century. It is a rose of great interest to many because of its unarmed condition, and is sometimes known as the ‘rose without a thorn’, though this name was given originally to R. × francofurtana. Often the only prickles are a few weak ones at the base of the branchlets. It has fine foliage, and is also very handsome in fruit, the heps often being large, highly coloured, and flask-shaped, as in R. moyesii and often in R. macrophylla, to both of which it is closely allied. Another point of similarity to R. macrophylla is that the pedicels, receptacles and sepals are often tinged with vinous red.

R. pendulina is a very variable species, but the variations are quite uncorrelated and several of the numerous varieties that have been named can be seen in a single stand. Three were once found on a single plant. The plate in the Botanical Magazine represents a dwarf plant with glandular pedicels, in this respect resembling the type of R. pyrenaica Gouan from the E. Pyrenees, but forms with glandular pedicels are not confined to the Pyrenees, nor necessarily dwarf.


R. alpina L.; R. cinnamomea L. (1753) (see R. majalis, footnote); R. pyrenaica Gouan; R. pendulina f. pyrenaica (Gouan) R. Keller


A compact bush 3 to 6 ft high, the stems armed towards the base with short spines and bristle-like prickles. Leaflets oval or roundish, {1/2} to 1{1/4} in. long, mostly doubly toothed, glabrous on both surfaces. Flowers deep red, 1{1/2} in. across, usually solitary, sometimes in threes. Pedicel, receptacle and the narrow-lanceolate sepals glandular. Fruits {3/4} to 1 in. long, bottle-shaped, red, crowned with the sepals (R. malyi Kerner; R. pendulina var. malyi R. Keller).This pleasing rose was introduced to Austria shortly before 1869 by Hofgartner Maly from the mountains behind the Dalmatian Coast; some of the plants went to the Innsbruck Botanic Garden, whence this variant was distributed. It was at one time thought to be a hybrid between R. pendulina and R. pimpinellifolia, recalling the latter in its armature and the shape of the leaflets, but similar plants occur in parts of Switzerland where R. pimpinellifolia is absent. For genuine hybrids between these two species, see R. × reversa.


A freely suckering selection, growing to about 1 ft high and suitable for the rock garden (R. alpina var. nana F. Barker, Gard. Chron. Vol. 107 (1940), p. 34). The origin of this is unrecorded, but a dwarf form from the Pyrenees was in cultivation as early as 1885.Probably referable to R. pendulina is the old double-flowered Virgin rose, which is the Rosa sine spinis of Parkinson’s Paradisus. This was not the same as R. × francofurtana (q.v.), which Parkinson also knew and described.

R × inermis Thory

R. alpina var. turbinata Desv

According to Crépin, this double-flowered rose, figured in Redouté (Vol. II, p. 93, t.) is probably a hybrid between R. pendulina and R. gallica; it was at one time common in the gardens of Switzerland but had become rare by the end of the 19th century.

R oxyodon Boiss.

R. alpina var. oxyodon (Boiss.) Boulenger

An endemic of the Caucasus, very closely allied to R. pendulina and differing from it, according to Boulenger, only in average characters such as having the flowers less frequently solitary and sometimes as many as seven in the inflorescence, and the receptacle usually smooth even when the pedicel is glandular.

R × spinulifolia Dematra

R. spinulifolia dematrana Thory
R. vestita Godet

A natural hybrid between R. pendulina and R. tomentosa, first described in 1818 from the Fribourg Canton of Switzerland. It is of no value for gardens, but is of interest as one of the roses figured by Redouté in his famous work (Vol. III, p. 7, t.). For a discussion of this hybrid see Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux., Vol. 12 (1932), pp. 391-403).