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A trailing shrub whose glabrous, slender stems are armed with small hooked prickles. Leaflets three or five, linear, 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. wide, margins wavy, not toothed, downy beneath, mottled with yellow down the centre above; rachis downy, glandular and spiny. Stipules very narrow, not toothed. Flowers pale rose with narrow petals, 1⁄2 in. wide, crowded in short, broad panicles. Sepals lanceolate, entire. Styles glabrous, united in an exserted column. Fruits globose, red, 1⁄4 in. wide.
A garden rose of Japan, whence it was introduced to the USA before 1870 and thence to Britain. It shows some affinity with R. multiflora, but the long, narrow leaflets distinguish it, and in its essential characters it is quite different.
It is a rose of delicate constitution, but has been grown successfully at Kew and in other gardens, though the finest plants are in southern Europe. In previous editions it was added: ‘Anywhere it must be regarded more as a curiosity than anything else’, but some gardeners have a liking for it.