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A close-habited, densely branched shrub of rounded habit, 2 to 5 ft high, its branches set with slender, curved (not strongly hooked) prickles of varying lengths, the longest about 1⁄4 in. long, rarely mixed with needles and glandular bristles, though more commonly so on the strong growths. Leaves 11⁄2 to 2 in. long, composed of five to seven leaflets which are broadly ovate or round, 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long, compound-toothed and with glands on the teeth, lower surface, rachis and stipules. Flowers 1 to 11⁄4 in. across, bright rose, usually solitary, sometimes two or three together. Pedicels smooth or glandular-bristly, sometimes downy, very short. Sepals lanceolate, with a few lateral appendages and glandular, ciliated margins. Styles downy. Fruits about the size of a large pea, red, finally black, crowned with the sepals. Bot. Mag., t. 7761.
Native of the Mediterranean region, including N.W. Africa. A neat and pleasing little rose, seldom seen in gardens but quite hardy. It resembles R. biebersteinii (horrida) in its dwarf habit, small leaves and abundant spines, but differs in the particulars pointed out under that species. It is very similar to and confused with R. serafinii Viv., which differs from R. sicula in its hooked prickles and glabrous styles.