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Friday, June 28, 2019

Sweetbrier, Probably

I've been walking past this on my 3-mile road loop for, literally, years. It's a wild rose, of course, but which one. I never seem to come home with quite enough information to identify it. But now, I think I've got it.

Rosa rubiginosa

For starters, it's a shrub. Not that that narrows down the field much, but a bit.

Rosa rubiginosa

The flower isn't going to help. Most wild roses look pretty much the same. It mostly has seven leaflets on each leaf. Just FYI, that winged thing just above my fingers is called the stipule. All wild roses have them. It doesn't help with the ID unless it's really narrow. These pieces of information don't help much. The thorns are recurved-- they point downwards, pretty much. And it does have thorns, so it's not Smooth Rose.

Rosa rubiginosa

Now we have to start being a little arbitrary. There are still three good choices: Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris), Pasture Rose (Rosa carolina) or Sweetbriar/ Eglantine Rose (Rosa rubiginosa). Palustris and carolina have smooth stems except for the thorns. This is smooth. That suggests it's not rubiginosa.

Rosa rubiginosa

Palustris and carolina have leaflets that narrow at the base. These are more rounded- look at the very top one. That suggests it is rubiginosa.

Rosa rubiginosa

So, if you hear me talking about plants a lot you already know we are way past the single picture of a flower that I'm often shown and asked to identify (which sometimes works, but don't be annoyed if it's not adequate). And we still haven't nailed this down.

So, now I'm going to pull in the information from another season. Here are the hips - fruits or seed pods. As you can see, they are quite large, and they are elongated. Now we are getting somewhere. Seed pods lie less than herbaceous qualities. Both carolina and palustris have very round fruits, maybe even a little bit squashed- known as depressed-globose in plant lingo.

Rosa rubiginosa

Bingo! I think we have Sweetbriar or Eglantine Rose, Rosa rubiginosa.

About time I figured this one out.

In other news: I wrote all morning on North Country Quest, then I wrote all afternoon for North Star. Went for a walk. Not as hot as yesterday, but the humidity was something! I thought I might do something on the trailer, but it's already 8:30. Not worth dragging out the extension cord and the tools.

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Ann said...

You did good at narrowing down the choices of what type of rose that is.

Secondary Roads said...

Thanks for detailing the identification process.

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