Rosa engelmanni (Species)

Garden and Forest, August 7, 1889
Rosa Engelmanni.*

*R. ENGELMANNI, Watson.—Stems three to four feet high or less, usually more or less densely covered with scattered prickles, the infrastipular spines, when present, straight and slender, often wanting; leaflets five to seven, often somewhat resinous, puberulent beneath, and the teeth glandular-serrulate; stipules narrow; rhachis unarmed; flowers usually solitary, the peduncle and receptacle naked; sepals entire, naked or somewhat hispid; fruit oblong-obovate, six to twelves lines long.

MR. FAXON has here given a very good representation of a Rose that is widely distributed through our western region, but which has not hitherto been recognized as distinct. It has now been in cultivation at the Arnold Arboretum for several years, having been raised from seed collected by Dr. Engelmann near Empire City, Colorado, in 1881. It is the only species in temperate America that is characterized by an oblong fruit, and it is in this respect the representative of the Old World species, R. acicularis and R. alpina, to which it is otherwise also nearly allied. It is, indeed, in part the R. acicularis, var. Bourgeauiana of M. Crepin, the distinguished rhodologist of Brussels. But the only specimen of this species in the Gray Herbarium that was collected by Bourgeau (at "Fort bas Garry" in 1857) is ticketed by M. Crepin as R. blanda, var. setigera, while most of his variety Bourgeauiana (including Bourgeau's own specimen, ticketed "Mt. Rocheases à la base, 8 Aout., 1858"), belongs to the somewhat similar, but still quite distinct species, R. Sayi. In my revision of our species, published in 1885, the fruiting specimens that I had seen were referred to as belonging to a possible new species of the R. Fendleri group, though most of the flowering specimens were disposed of under R. Sayi.

R. Engelmanni is distinguished from R. acicularis most prominently by the frequent occurrence of a pair of slender spines below the stipules, by the resinous puberulence often found upon the leaves, with the accompanying glandular serrulation of the teeth, by the naked peduncles, and in growing specimens (so far as R. acicularis is represented in our gardens) by a difference in appearance of the foliage and in habit, which it is not easy to describe. The stems in both species are usually covered with slender prickles, and the rather large flowers are almost always solitary.

R. acicularis is rather more northern in its range, extending through northern Russia and Siberia to Japan and across Behring Sea into northern Alaska. R. Engelmanni appears to be frequent on the shores of Lake Superior and at some points on Lake Huron, and thence ranges westward by the Lake of the Woods, Pembina, and the upper Missouri to the Rocky Mountains. Here it is found from central Colorado to north of the boundary in British America, and westward to Idaho, and the upper Columbia in Washington Territory, where I collected it in 1880 near Fort Colville. It is a showy species in cultivation, both from its large flowers and its conspicuous bright red fruit.— S. W.