Rosa nutkana (Species) (SJH)

May 16, 2004

Garden and Forest (Nov. 14, 1888) pp. 449-450

Rosa Nutkana.*

*ROSA NUTKANA, Presl., Epimel. Bot., 203; Watson, Proc. Am. Acad., xx. 341.

THE most showy of our western Roses, as well as the most clearly defined, with the exception of the delicate Rosa gymnocarpa, is the Nutka Rose. It has the largest flowers and the largest fruit of any of our species, and its armature is liable to become on occasion the most formidable.

It is frequent along the Pacific coast from the Alaskan peninsula to the Columbia River, where it was first collected by Menzies upon Vancouver's visit to that region, and somewhat later by Haenke at Nutka Sound. It ranges eastward from the coast through the mountains near the boundary to north-western Montana, and thence southward into Utah. It is rather stout in its habit, and with rather broad foliage, very rarely nearly spineless, usually armed with broad, flat spines at the base of the leaves, and occasionally, especially the young shoots, with scattered prickles. The spines are either straight or recurved, and sometimes they become larger even than they are represented in our figure, and very numerous. As usual in our Roses, the pubescence is very variable, the leaves being either perfectly glabrous and bright green, or softly pubescent, and very frequently resinous-puberulent, in which case, as in other species, the teeth are usually also glandular-serrulate. The inflorescence is ordinarily wholly smooth, hispidness occurring but rarely on either the pedicels or any part of the flower. As in all the other species of that region, in distinction from most of those of the Rocky Mountains and the East, the sepals never have lateral appendages or lobes. The fruit is globose or somewhat depressed, of a bright scarlet,, and often over half an inch in diameter.

Our figure has been drawn by Mr. Faxon from a plant grown at the Arnold Arboretum.— S. W.