Rosa stellata Wooton

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Credits

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

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

Genus

Synonyms

  • Hesperhodos stellatus (Wooton) Boulenger
  • R. vernonii Greene
  • Hesperhodos vernonii (Greene) Boulenger

Glossary

receptacle
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.
article
(in Casuarinaceae) Portion of branchlet between each whorl of leaves.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glandular
Bearing glands.
globose
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
lax
Loose or open.
rachis
Central axis of an inflorescence cone or pinnate leaf.
receptacle
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.

References

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Credits

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

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

A deciduous shrub up to 2 ft high, with slender leafy shoots and of lax habit; young shoots thickly covered with starry down and armed with straight, pale, yellowish white, slender spines 14 to 13 in. long, mixed with which are tiny prickles and stalked glands. Leaves 34 to 112 in. long, composed of usually three, sometimes five leaflets; rachis glandular-downy. Leaflets wedge-shaped or triangular, toothed mainly or only at the broad end; teeth comparatively large, blunt, 14 to 12 in. long, glabrous and dullish green above, greyish and slightly downy beneath. Flowers solitary, 2 to 212 in. wide, of a beautiful soft rose; petals inversely heart-shaped, deeply notched. Anthers yellow. Receptacle globose, covered with pale spines. Sepals 12 in. long, lance-shaped, two of them pinnately lobed, with a spoon-like tip, glandular and spiny outside, woolly on the margins. Fruits hemispherical, flat-topped, not fleshy, prickly, brownish red, 12 in. wide, the sepals persisting at the top.

Native of the south-western USA, where it ranges from W. Texas to Arizona. It was discovered in the Organ Mountains of New Mexico towards the end of the last century and was first grown in Britain by Dr Wallace of Broadstone, Dorset, who raised it from seeds collected in the type-locality by Prof. Cockerell of Colorado University and flowered it in 1912. A year later, in an article in Nature, Prof. Cockerell pointed out that R. stellata and the related R. minutifolia were distinct among roses in having a non-fleshy fruit with a wide orifice and oval-elongate (not angled) achenes, and proposed for them a generic or subgeneric status under the name Hesperhodos. According to Boulenger, the most significant character – fully justifying generic rank for this group – is that the receptacle entirely lacks the disk that in all other groups of Rosa, however aberrant, partly closes the mouth of the receptacle (‘Monographie du Genre Hesperhodos’, Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux., Vol. 14 (1937), pp. 227-39). Cockerell’s proposal of a possible generic rank for this group was also taken up by C. C. Hurst in Rose Annual 1929. However, other botanists consider that subgeneric rank in Rosa suffices to give recognition to the distinctness of this group.

For the cultivation of R. stellata see below.


R minutifolia Engelm.

Synonyms
Hesperhodos minutifolia (Engelm.) Hurst

This species, a native of Lower California, is the senior member of the group, discovered in 1882 and described in the same year. It was introduced to Kew in 1888 but did not long survive and is scarcely likely to be hardy. It differs from R. stellata in its minute leaflets {1/8} to {1/4} in. long, densely downy beneath, few-toothed, borne on a pale, downy, threadlike rachis. Young shoots downy, with numerous slender spines up to {3/8} in. long. Flowers 1 in. wide, pink, or nearly white. Fruits globose, very spiny, {3/8} in. wide.The most recent study of this group is: W. H. Lewis, ‘The Subgenus Hesperhodos’, Ann. Miss. Bot. Gard., Vol. 52 (1965), pp. 99-113.

var. mirifica (Greene) Cockerell

Synonyms
R. stellata subsp. mirifica (Greene) W. H. Lewis
R. mirifica Greene
Hesperhodos mirificus (Greene) Boulenger

Young shoots without stellate down. Leaflets usually five, sometimes almost glabrous. It is more vigorous than the type, sometimes attaining 4 to 6 ft in the wild. A native of New Mexico, within the area of typical R. stellata. It was introduced to Kew in 1917 by means of seeds collected by Dr Alfred Rehder for the Arnold Arboretum in the Sacramento Mountains, where it is said to form patches acres in extent.R. stellata and its variety, apart from their botanical interest, are remarkable in the garden for their gooseberry-like foliage and lilac-pink flowers (though the distinctive colouring is said to be lost if the plants are grown in a moist soil). The var. mirifica is quite at home in this country and spreads by underground suckers, which afford a simple means of propagation. It received an Award of Merit when exhibited by Kew in 1924. Typical R. stellata, as originally introduced, proved less amenable to cultivation, perhaps because it came from a drier region. Both, however, need abundant summer-heat and are most likely to grow in character in a well-drained soil and a warm, sunny position, though it has been found to do reasonably well on a practically sunless wall.