The Canadian Horticulturist 7(12): 286 (Dec 1884)

ROSA RUGOSA

Prof. J. L. Budd, writing to the Prairie Farmer, says:— "Four years ago, through the kindness of Prof. Sargent, of the Arnold Arboretum at Boston, we received a small plant bearing the above name. Two years after I noted, in the College Quarterly, the beauty of its large, full, distinctive, rose-colored flowers, followed by large, peculiar-shaped, highly-colored and edible fruit; and spoke of the rare beauty, through the season, of its profusion of dark, rich green leaves, plicated as perfectly as those of the Viburnum plicatum. In addition I then said that such a distinctive and peculiarly hardy species should give rise—by seedling production and crossing—to a family of varieties of peculiar value to the West. At that time I shared the common belief that it came from Japan, and wondered that its foliage should so perfectly endure our hot, dry summers, and that its wood should endure our test winters quite as well as our wild species of the rose.

"Since that time I have had an opportunity for studying the trees and plants of the great "East plain" of Europe, and found the Rosa rugosa in public and private collections in Northeast Austria, Poland and over Russia, from the shores of the Baltic to points east of the Volga, where the rainfall does not exceed ten inches per annum. Nor was it confined to the single red form coming to us from Japan. The varieties differed in size and shape of the leaf, length and number of spines, size of bush, and above all in the size, color, and perfection of flower. The varieties known as "Rosa rugosa flore pleno" varied from half double to one as perfectly double as our best perpetuals.

At the botanical gardens on the Volga the opinion was expressed that the species was indigenous to North Bokhara, and the plains of Asia west of the Altai ranges. However this may be, it is, and has been for ages, a favorite species on the East plain of Europe, and we have the best reason for believing that its varieties will take leading rank over our great plains in the near future. I will only add that the interminable prairies north of the Carpathian Mountains, and the Caucasus in Europe, have many varieties of the rose, with thick coriaceous leaves, like the rugosa, not known in this country, and which do not seem to be known in South Europe.