Gardener's Monthly and Horticulturist 15: 316-317 (Oct 1873)
A New Species of Rose—Rosa Rugosa Regeliana.
ED. ANDRE, in Illust. Hort.

We must beg our readers who may feel interested in the accuracy of botanic nomenclature to turn back to a description given by us some twelve months ago of a fine rose figured and described under the name of Rosa Regeliana (Illust. Hort., 1871, plate 1.)

The plant in question was forwarded to M. Linden unnamed. It came from Japan, where it had been collected by M. Maximowicz. Deprived by the war of the assistance of our foreign correspondents, and without a library at hand for reference, we were fain to rely on the opinion of a friend, who, after an examination of some fine dried specimens with blooms, pronounced it to be a new species. R. Regeliana was accordingly given to the public forthwith.

But, very shortly afterwards, a skillful botanist, well up in roses, M. Crepin, sent word to us, through M. Linden, that our new rose was vary probably R. rugosa of Thunberg, adding that this species was common in England, where it was known as the "hedgehog" rose. We accordingly lost no time in acknowledging the receipt of the communication, and promised to institute inquiries into the matter and to publish the results. This promise we now redeem.

The explanation, put forward voluntarily and in all good faith, nevertheless failed to satisfy certain of the smaller fry of the profession, who, to push their catalogues, scruple not to bespatter friends as well as foes; narrow-minded, short-sighted, begrudging mortals, the chief products of whose gardens are "cares and an abundance of sour apples," to paraphrase the words of Rabelais.

These gentry at once decided that our rose was an old subject brought out intentionally under a fresh name.

And now for the facts elicited by our inquiries. The rose described by us is not R. rugosa described by Thunberg and Siebold, and introduced in Europe some time since, although apparently it belongs to the same family, which has been cultivated in Japan from time immemorial, and includes numerous garden varieties. The greater part of these varieties are of higher stature than ours, with more erect port, exceeding four or five feet in height, in place of two or three feet at most, with double flowers, some times of a red or purplish color, but most often white. Specimens of the plant were imported a good while ago, and some of them are still in cultivation; we have seen several, notably a very fine one in the Paris Museum. As regards our inquiries in England, we have been unable to learn anything of the "hedgehog rose," which must have sprung up in our critic's brain.

According to Siebold and Zuccarini (Flora Japonica, vol. xxviii. p. 66) the plant is called in Japan Hama-nasi, literally, "the waterside pear," in allusion to its pyriform fruit. Bunge says that it grows on sandy soils on the banks of streams, and that he has seen it cultivated in the North of China. Very probably the roses admired by La Peyrouse on the coast of Tartary belonged to this species, which may well be closely related to, or, as Siebold supposes, identical with, R. kamschatica. In China it has been grown since the days of the Sung (?) dynasty, A. D. 1100; and the ladies of the Imperial Court are said to make a choice pot-pourri of its petals intermixed with musk and camphor.

We have said that our rose is not that introduced in Europe some time since under the name R. rugosa. Now let us see whether it corresponds with the type so minutely described by Siebold and Zuccarini in Flora Japonica. In place of a long dissertation, we prefer to show the differences subsisting between the described type and the specimen before us, in a tabular form.

R. RUGOSA. Thunberg. R. REGELIANA. Linden & Andre.
Plant under cultivation 4 to 6 ft. in height with erect port. Plant 2 to 3 ft. in height at most half rambling.
Leaflets mostly with 7 to 9 folioles. Leaflets with at most 5 to 7 folioles on all specimens examined.
Stipules very entire or obscurely serrated. Stipules glaucescent beneath and irregularly dentate.
Flowers solitary. Flowers numerous, in magnificent terminal corymbs on vigorous branchlets.
Peduncles unarmed, or with prickles on lower portions only, pilose with pubescent pointed bracts. Peduncles with numerous prickles on every part, and glaucescent dentate bracts.
Calyx with 5 spreading, pubescent, upright sepals compressing the fruit when ripe. Calyx with 5, 6, 8 reflexed, shining, prickly sepals, not inclining upwards or compressing the fruit.
Corolla red, often white in cultivated specimens. Corolla poppy-red.

Siebold & Zuccarini, Flora Japonica, t. 28 (1875)

L’Illustration horticole, vol. 18: t. 47 (1871)

We consider it needless to insist upon differences so obvious: the reader will have already formed his own conclusions. We pass over other characteristics described in minute detail in the Flora Japonica, as these would necessitate a fresh comparison, and in reality are not essential to the determination of the point at issue.

If it be admitted that there are differences between the above descriptions, our species ought to stand good. We ourselves have no doubt about the matter. Still, we believe, as we have observed above, that our plant belongs to the rugosa type, although it differs therefrom, just as we find cultivated varieties of other roses changing their characteristics without leaving any room for doubt as to their true origin.

Very certainly the plant brought over by M. Maximowicz, if not a hybrid, is a variety (whether natural or artificial we cannot say) of Thunberg's species; and we do not hesitate to repeat what we have before asserted—that it is a very beautiful plant, which well deserves to be more widely known and distributed.

This choice and distinctive variety should therefore, as it seems to us, be hereafter known definitely under the name of Rosa rugosa Regeliana.—ED. ANDRE, in Illust. Hort.

[We are rather astonished that Mr. Andre should not "be able to learn anything of the hedgehog" rose in England. One was well known there thirty years ago, and this one was R. Kamachatica. This rose by the way is well worthy of the attention of American cultivators, for the great richness of the large rosy petals, and for the delicious fragrance of the flowers, much sweeter than any rose we know. The genuine Rosa cinnamomea of the Rocky mountains not excepted.—ED. G. M.]


Russian Rugosa (Budd & Hansen (1896)