Rosa wichuraiana Crép.

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

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



  • R. luciae Crép. (1871), in part, not Crép. (1886)
  • R. luciae var. wichuraiana (Crép). Koidz.


Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
With an unbroken margin.
Protruding; pushed out.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
Central axis of an inflorescence cone or pinnate leaf.


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

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

A procumbent shrub, evergreen in mild districts, rising only a few inches above the ground, and making shoots 10 or 12 ft long in a season; barren shoots unbranched, quite glabrous, armed at irregular intervals with solitary curved prickles 14 in. long; flowering shoots branching and more slender. Leaves 2 to 4 in. long, consisting of five, seven or nine leaflets; rachis glabrous, armed beneath with small, hooked prickles. Leaflets oval, broadly ovate or almost orbicular, from 14 to 1 in. long, coarsely toothed, deep polished green on both surfaces, glabrous except for occasional down on the midrib beneath. Stipules broad, ciliately toothed or laciniate, the segments equal to, or shorter than, the entire part of each wing. Flowers nearly 2 in. across, pure white, produced from July into September in panicles of six to ten blossoms rising out of the dense carpet of foliage. Pedicels glabrous. Sepals about 38 in. long, downy, entire or with a few slender lateral appendages. Styles united into a hairy exserted column. Fruits red, globose, 38 in. wide; sepals deciduous. Bot. Mag., t. 7421 (as R. luciae).

Native of the coastal regions of Japan and of the Korean archipelago, with a close relative in Formosa; introduced to Kew from the USA in 1891, but probably cultivated earlier on the continent. It is part of R. luciae as Crépin conceived that species when he first described it in 1871, and it was at first known by that name in gardens. He separated it from R. luciae in 1886, naming it after the botanist Max Wichura of Breslau, who collected the type-specimens while attached to a Prussian diplomatic mission to the Far East.

Although somewhat eclipsed now by the large number of exquisite hybrids raised from it, it is well worth growing for its own sake. It flowers when nearly all other wild roses are past, and for making a low covering for a sunny bank few plants are better suited. In the USA it is known as the Memorial Rose, from its use in covering graves. Its flowers are very fragrant.

Rose breeders were quick to see the potentialities of R. wichuraiana, with its glossy, mildew-proof foliage and late flowering season and many of the most popular rambling roses of today were raised by crossing it with Teas, Hybrid Teas, Chinas and other garden roses. Most of these date from the first three decades of this century, but there is another group of more recent origin deriving from R. wichuraiana through R. kordesii (see under R. rugosa). Through its hybrids, R. wichuraiana has played a part – though compared to R. multiflora a minor one – in the breeding of the Dwarf and Hybrid Polyanthas.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

† cv. ‘Variegata. – Young leaves cream-coloured with pink tips, becoming green touched with cream.

R × barbieriana Rehd

This is a re-naming by Rehder of the hybrid between R. wichuraiana and ‘Crimson Rambler’, raised by Barbier of Orleans and misleadingly named R. wichuraiana rubra by André. The same cross, made in the USA by Walsh, was named ‘Evangeline’ (see p. 180).

R × jacksonii

(R. wichuraiana × R. rugosa )

This hybrid has been mentioned under R. rugosa. Here belongs ‘Max Graf’, the parent of R. kordesii.

R luciae Franch. & Rochebrunne ex Crép.,

emend . Crép

This species, as originally described, included elements which Crépin later distinguished as a separate species – R. wichuraiana (see above). As amended, R. luciae differs from R. wichuraiana in the following characters: leaflets thinner and less glossy, fewer in each leaf (five or at the most seven), longer (up to 1{3/4} in. long), mostly acute or acuminate at the apex, the terminal markedly longer than the lateral ones, flowers smaller, about 1 in. wide. It is more widely spread in Japan than R. wichuraiana and has a more inland distribution. The specific epithet commemorates the wife of Dr Savatier, a French naval doctor who botanised in Japan during his service there 1866-75.R. luciae, if ever introduced to Europe, cannot have been widely grown, since no reference to it (as a species distinct from R. wichuraiana) can be found in the literature. There are no grounds for supposing that it enters into the parentage of the Wichuraiana group of ramblers.