G. N. Best, M.D. Bibliography

Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 14(12): 253-256 (Dec 1887)
Remarks on the Group Carolinae of the Genus Rosa

* Nouvelles Remarques sur les Roses Americaines,

Notwithstanding the labor and thought that have been expended both at home and abroad on the Wild Roses of North America they are yet, at least as far as certain species are concerned, not in a very satisfactory condition to most botanists. One reason for this, as pointed out by M. Crepin,* is that many of the specimens found in the various herbaria are nearly worthless, consisting of a small branch, a few leaves and flowers, without mature fruit. To be available for diagnostic purposes, they should be the whole bush, the upper two-thirds at least, collected when flowering, with fruit later in the season.

Another reason is the variability of certain characters upon whose constancy too much reliance has been placed in the founding of species. Reference is here had to sepals, whether lobed or entire ; stipules, whether narrow or dilated, toothed or entire; spines, whether straight, curved or absent. These in many instances are so variable as rather to be considered accidents of growth, depending apparently on peculiarities of soil or location, or both, and of value only in determining varieties. There is no plant perhaps that reflects more its environments than the Rose. Growing at the foot of a hill, in damp rich soil, with stout stems, thick shining leaves, broad stipules and stout curved or reflexed spines, they present a very different appearance from those found at the hill top, where the soil is light and dry, exposed to the sun. Here the stems are slender, branches more diffuse, leaves thinner, stipules narrow and spines straight, or nearly so, often absent in stunted bushes. Seeing the extremes in an herbarium, knowing nothing of the situation in which they grew, one would be strongly inclined to think he had two well-marked species with which to deal. On the other hand, however, could he but see the intermediate forms, their perfect intergradation, he could come to no other conclusion than that he had before him but one.

Jour. Trenton Nat. Hist. Soc. 2(1): 1-7 (Jan 1889)
North American Roses; Remarks on characters with classification

To the botanist who yearns to enrich synonymy the Roses offer at once an inviting and productive field. It is not even necessary for him to go from bush to bush; by taking advantage of the successive stages of growth, from one alone he may cull species and varieties ad libitum. This may seem an exaggeration, but such is not the case, nor is the following instance unique. Amos Eaton is authority for having said that Dr. Bigelow, author of Florula Bostoniensis, once on a time collected three specimens from the different parts of a single bush, sent them to Sir Joseph E. Smith, then one of England's most distinguished botanists, who in reply made two of them different described species and the other an undescribed species.

Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 17(6): 141-149 (June 1890)
Remarks on the Group Cinnamomeae of the North American Roses

Few plants are more strikingly modified by differences in environment than roses. Even the younger growths appear quite different from the older, so much so indeed as to cause them to be taken for different species. A knowledge, therefore, of the value of characters is desirable. Quite contrary to what was once thought, the varying degrees of pubescence, glaucousness, glandulosity, and, to some extent, of prickles, possess little diagnostic value; and are to be considered most frequently as accidents of growth depending on peculiarities of soil and location for their development. Not that they are wholly devoid of value, but are so only when taken in connection with characters of the first order.