The botanical works of the late George Engelmann, vol. 1, pp. 524-525 (1887)
George Engelmann, Henry Shaw

ROSA SPITHAMEA, Watson, Fl. Cal. 2, 444. — In the deep shade of the Big Trees of Fresno County, Cal., where scarcely anything else grows, I found what I take to be a form of this pretty little species, blooming in September. I may designate it as

Var. SUBINERMIS: stems a span high, glabrous or more or less glandular hispid, with a few scattered setaceous spines (none stipular) or spineless; stipules short and narrow with short narrow divaricate free points; leaflets mostly 5, thin, pale below, elliptical or nearly orbicular, obtuse, sharply serrate and glandular serrulate; rhachis glandular pubescent and often spinulose, petiolule of terminal leaflet almost its own length; flowers single (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide) rose-colored; peduncle slightly glandular, calyx tube globose, naked, lobes entire.

The stems of the same season bear the flowers, as is the case in R. foliolosa of Texas; or is it in this instance an autumnal form? There may be characters enough, especially the absence of any stipular spines, to distinguish specifically this southern form from the northern type, but considering the great variability of roses it is thought best to keep them together for the present.

The western roses, and to some extent all our roses, are in some confusion and what my cursory visit to the Pacific coast may have done to clear them up is offered here.

Rosa Nutkana, Presl, is common in Oregon and northward, but I have not met with it in California; it is characterized by very broad and stout stipular and cauline spines, which are particularly abundant on annual shoots, and by large single flowers and large globose or depressed fruit. R. Durandii, Crepin, from Oregon, appears to be a form of this species with glandular calyx tube, which in the type is glabrous.

Rosa Pisiformis, Gray, stands next to this and not to the following. Like it, it has well-developed stipular spines, but they are slender and more terete; corymbs few-flowered, fruit smaller; young shoots mostly densely covered with dark red-brown slender spines and spiny bristles, by which the plant can be distinguished at any time, even without flower or fruit. I found it from British Columbia down to the neighborhood of San Francisco and Monterey.

Rosa Californica, Cham. & Schl., a bush often 4-5 feet high, along streams, bears its flowers in large compound corymbs; its annual shoots are glaucous, covered with stout straight or often curved or even hooked glaucous spines; form of fruit variable, oblong or globose, with a more or less distinct contracted neck. — Common about San Francisco, thence northward to the Klamath River and southward to Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

Rosa Gymnocarpa, Nutt., in the rich woods of the Oregon Coast Ranges, with stems 1 1/2-2 inches thick and 8 feet high, otherwise mostly a slender bush; annual shoots densely covered with glaucous or gray bristly spines; distinguished from all other roses, I believe, by its naked fruit (globose or elongated, sometimes pointed at both ends), from which after flowering the united calyx lobes separate, bearing at their base the stamens.

Rosa Minutifolia, n. sp.A much-branched shrub, 2-4 feet high; shoots pubescent, densely covered with straight or slightly curved, red-brown, bristly, at first pubescent spines, their leaves with broad, divaricately auricled stipules, and mostly 5 leaflets; fertile branches bearing numerous terete, subulate spines, some of the shorter and more persistent ones often in pairs under the branchlets; leaves fasciculated on short spurs, narrow stipules divaricately auricled, leaflets minute (only 1-2 lines long, the lowest pairs the smallest) oval, simply incised-dentate, pubescent, not glandular; flowers single, 3/4-1 inch wide, on tomentose, bractless peduncles from between the leaves; calyx-tube globular, densely setose-hispid, a thick nectariferous ring contracting its opening; petals suborbicular, scarcely emarginate, deep rose-purple or white; central ovules borne on short stipes; styles distinct, short, woolly.

Described from specimens sent by Dr. C. C. Parry and M. E. Jones. A most striking and lovely species, distinguished from all other roses by its minute, deeply incised leaflets. The young shoots have larger, distant leaves, with fewer, but larger leaflets, the terminal one the largest, sometimes 4 or 5 lines long; fragrance faint. This species is quite peculiar among its American congeners, and even among the roses of the Old World, so that it is difficult to determine its true position. In aspect and habit it comes nearest to the Pimpinellifoliae on account of its single bractless flowers, its numerous acicular spines, and its small leaves; but it recedes in its pinnatifid calyx-lobes. — [Aug. 1882, vol. ix.]

Through the kind exertions of Miss F. Fish of Sauzal, mature fruit of this interesting species, described in the August number of the BULLETIN, has been obtained and is being widely distributed, so that we may hope soon to see it in cultivation. The fruit is globose, crowned with the persistent erect calyx-lobes, deeply red-brown, bristly-hispid ; seeds generally few, bearing the woolly, at length deciduous style.

In the description of the flower it ought to have been mentioned that the outer calyx-lobes are pinnatifid, which however is alluded to at the end of the article. The locality is Sauzal, not Sanyal, as printed. — [Oct. 1882, vol. ix.]