Roses

Japanese Rose Common Dog Rose Many-flowered Rose Burnet Rose

What are they?

The five-petalled flowers and bright red fruits are a good indicator that these plants are in the rose family (Rosaceae), along with apples, pears, plums, cherries and many other similar species. Cultivated forms of roses are extremely popular as garden plants, but native species can be very different to the big, blousy flowers of garden forms. These plants are typically woody-stemmed shrubs, sometimes scrambling through other vegetation with long, slender brnaches that are typically well armed with prickles.

Where are they found?

This groups contains a mix of native and introduced species. Native species may be found in a range of scrubby habitats, hedgelines and woodland edge, while non-natives may be found in similar places but usually closer to human habitation.

Identification

Roses offer up all sorts of problems when it comers to species identification, that even the experts cannot agree on how many species we might have in the UK, or even how to define the species. With this in mind, this page takes at face value the identification of the various forms recorded in East Anglia in the past and identification is largely based on current thinking at the time of writing this text! For a firm identification, it is necessary to note details of the stem prickles, flower colour, stigma detail, details of any glandular or non-glandular hairs present on the leaves, flowers and/or fruits, plus fruit shape and colour. Roses hybridise freely and any plant not fully matching the features of the species shown below may well be a hybrid. Note that the smaller, straighter prickles found on rose stems are referred to as acicles.



Common Dog Rose      Rosa canina

Native. Common and widespread on most soil types and by far the most plentiful rose in the region. Flowers June to July. A very variable species in most of its features. Flowers very variable, pink or white. Stem prickles broad-based and usually curved. All parts without glandular hairs and usually only a few non-glandular hairs on the leaves.

Common Dog Rose Common Dog Rose Common Dog Rose
Habit
Flower
Flower
Common Dog Rose Common Dog Rose
Fruits
Winter stem


Field Rose      Rosa arvensis

Native. Common along old lanes, hedgerows and woodland edge on boulder clay soils. Flowers June to July. Stems typically rather slender and trailing through or over other woody plants; green with a slightly whitish bloom, becoming reddish-purple in sunny sites. Flowers white with the stigmas carried on a columnar style at the centre of the flower. Stem prickles typically rather slender and slightly curved. All parts without glandular hairs. Ripe fruits red without glandular hairs; relatively small for a rose hip and retaining the columnar style for some time after the flower has gone.

Field Rose Field Rose Field Rose Field Rose
Flower with columnar style
Sepals
Leaf
Leaf
Field Rose
Winter stem


Common Sweet-briar      Rosa rubiginosa

Native. Widespread in a wide range of habitats on chalkier soils; perhaps most frequent in Breckland. Flowers June to July, 3-4cm across. Stems usually rather stiff and stout, well branched and forming a sturdy, free-standing bush. Flowers rich pink. Stem prickles strongly curved, often even hooked at the tip, with straight acicles scattered in between. Leaves, sepals and fruits all with red-tipped, glandular hairs that give the plant a wonderful apple sent. Ripe fruits red with glandular hairs.

Common Sweet-briar Common Sweet-briar Common Sweet-briar
Flower
Flower bud with glandular hairs
Leaf stipules with
glandular hairs
Common Sweet-briar Common Sweet-briar Common Sweet-briar
Fruit
Stem
Stem


Small-flowered Sweet-briar      Rosa micrantha

Native. Rather rare with a few records scattered across the region, but it may be overlooked. Flowers June to July, 2-3.5cm across. Essentially a smaller version of Common Sweet-briar but the stems have only hooked prickles and no acicles and the sepals are strongly reflexed, even in fruit. Typically for a sweet-briar, the plant is rich in apple-scented, glandular hairs.

Small-flowered Sweet-briar Small-flowered Sweet-briar Small-flowered Sweet-briar Small-flowered Sweet-briar
Flower
Flower detail
Flower stalk and sepals
with glandular hairs
Leaf
Small-flowered Sweet-briar Small-flowered Sweet-briar
Stem
Stem


Harsh Downy Rose      Rosa tomentosa

Native. Uncommon or rare, typically in shady locations on boulder clay. Flowers June to July. Stems rather stiff and stout, often very long and reaching well up into surrounding trees like a climber. Flowers pale pink. Stem prickles slightly curved, no acicles. Leaves, sepals and fruits all with red-tipped, glandular hairs, but without a strong apple sent. Leaves with white hairs beneath. Ripe fruits red with glandular hairs, more globose, less elongate than fruits of sweet-briars and with sepals soon falling.

Harsh Downy Rose Harsh Downy Rose Harsh Downy Rose Harsh Downy Rose
Flower
Flower bud with glandular hairs
Leaf
Leaf underside
Harsh Downy Rose Harsh Downy Rose Harsh Downy Rose
Young fruit
Stem
Stem


Burnet Rose      Rosa spinosissima

Native but also occurring as an escape from cultivation or persisting where planted. Uncommon as a native, being confined to dry soils, most commonly on coastal sands and heaths. Flowers May to July. Stems relatively short and pliant, to a metre in height, suckering and forming low thickets in older plants. Flowers creamy white. Stem prickles straight or slightly curved, with many acicles. Leaves with more leaflets than mst other native roses, often with nine or even 11 leaflets. Ripe fruits dark blackish-purple with large, persistent sepals.

Burnet Rose Burnet Rose Burnet Rose
Habit
Flower
Leaf
Burnet Rose Burnet Rose Burnet Rose Burnet Rose
Fruits
Fruit
Stem
Stem


Japanese Rose      Rosa rugosa

Introduced from Eastern Asia. Popular as a garden plant for its highly scented flowers and commonly planted in hedges. Grows well in maritime climates and often found well established and forming low thickets in coastal sands and shingle. Flowers June to July. Stems densely covered in pliant prickles and acicles. Flowers white or pale to rich carmine pink, sometimes semi-double. Leaves with strongly impressed veins. Ripe fruits large, bright red, flattened at the top and bulging at the centre.

Japanese Rose Japanese Rose Japanese Rose Japanese Rose
Habit
Flower
Flower
Flower
Japanese Rose Japanese Rose Japanese Rose
Leaf
Fruit
Winter stem


Virginia Rose      Rosa virginiana

Introduced from North America. Rare but occasionally found persisting where planted on roadsides. Flowers July to August. A much-branched, low, shrubby species, the stems with a few, strongly recurved prickles. Flowers rich pink. Leaf stipules, sepals and fruits with short, glandular hairs. Ripe fruits bright red, almost globose but flattened at the top.

Virginia Rose Virginia Rose Virginia Rose Virginia Rose
Flower
Flower bud with glandular hairs
Leaf
Leaf stipule with glandular hairs
Virginia Rose Virginia Rose
Fruit
Stem


Many-flowered Rose      Rosa multiflora

Introduced from Asia. Uncommon but occasionally found persisting where planted on roadsides or spreading from garden plantings. Flowers June to August. A strong-growing, much-branched, scrambling species, the stems with a few, recurved prickles. Flowers white, relatively small but carried in many-branched clusters. Leaf stipules glandular and strongly toothed. Ripe fruits orange-red, small, 6-7mm across. Garden forms with double pink flowers are sometimes found on roadsides or in hedgelines.

Many-flowered Rose Many-flowered Rose Many-flowered Rose Many-flowered Rose
Habit
Flowers
Double form
Double form
Many-flowered Rose Many-flowered Rose Many-flowered Rose
Leaf stipules
Fruit
Stem


Red-leaved Rose      Rosa ferruginea

Introduced from mainland Europe. Noted a few times where naturalised in grassy places. Flowers May to June. A much-branched, shrubby species. Flowers rich pink. Leaves bluish-purple and stems dark reddish-purple.

Red-leaved Rose Red-leaved Rose Red-leaved Rose
Flower
Leaves
Leaf