Leaflets of Botanical Observation and Critic. 2: 132-136 (11 May 1911)
Edward L. Greene

Some Western Roses

ROSA HELIOPHILA is a name that may be substituted for my R. pratincola published in 1899 (Pitt. iv. 13), for there is a Rosa pratincola of Europe, by A. Braun, which was published in 1888.

In the dozen years that have passed since I named and described this half herbaceous rose of the sunny prairies of the middle West, several other forms like it in its low stature, merely suffrutescent growth, and corymbose terminal inflorescence, have come to light, and may be named and defined here.

ROSA LUNELLII. Stems erect, simple, a foot high or more, armed rather densely with short and slender nearly colorless prickles all straight and spreading; infrastipular spines none: leaves of a livid bluish-green on both faces, but in age quite glaucous, the rachis faintly short-villous, often with here and there a small prickle, also a few small subsessile glands; stipules broad and entire, yet mostly revolute, thus seeming narrow, those of vigorous growing shoots often closely beset with sessile glands, but of older and flowering shoots glandless; leaflets of young shoots 9, of older ones 7, or even 5, small, sessile, oval and oval-elliptic, finely serrate, smooth and glabrous above, scarcely pubescent beneath except along the midvein, and this only lightly so; but margins more loosely villous: flowers corymbose; peduncles and calyx-tube glabrous; sepals marginally villous, the outside beset with many sessile or subsessile glands: fruit rather large, depressed-globose, orange-red.

Open borders of woodland about Devil's Lake, North Dakota, collected by Dr. J. Lunell, 18 Aug., 1910. Differs from R. heliophila in that (1) the whole plant is more glaucous, (2) the prickles are far more numerous, more equal in size, and far less firm, being hardly more than bristles, (3) leaflets of less than half the size, (4) of elliptic and not obovate outline, (5) sepals glandular with subsessile glands. The species is well isolated, geographically, from R. heliophila, which, however, is on the prairies of South Dakota, and of North Dakota, and with its own characters.

ROSA RYDBERGII. Stems erect, simple, less than a foot high, densely leafy, rather loosely armed with short stoutish straight and spreading prickles; infrastipular spines none: leaves very glaucous above, of something approaching copperas-green beneath, yet with a trace of bloom, the rachis beset rather closely with short-stipulate and subsessile glands of several sizes, also with a few stout short prickles; stipules entire as to the adnate part, this with, or more commonly without villous marginal hairs, the few lobes conspicuously crenate-serrate, glabrous; leaflets 7, large for the plant, very notably petiolulate, broadly oval or even somewhat rhomboid-oval, deeply sharply and closely serrate, the acutish apex aristate-mucronate when young, this mucro deciduous, both faces glabrous, the lower marked with feather veins but no reticulation: flowers in a closely sessile terminal corymb: ovary glabrous; sepals apt to be glandular, the glands nearly sessile.

This fine well-marked rose of the subherbaceous group is known only as collected by Mr. Rydberg (his n. 1932), in central Nebraska, in July, 1893; the special locality being hills near Plummer Ford, Dismal River, Thomas County. Of the same low mainly herbaceous character as the foregoing, this plant is (1) glabrous, the leaflets (2) very notably petiolulate, (3) reversing the usual order they are very glaucous above, and of a deeper green beneath.

ROSA RUDIUSCULA. Stems 2 feet high, woody to the summit, but simple except as to flowering twigs, densely prickly, the prickles unequal, none very long, all slightly deflected, scarcely curved: leaves green and glabrous above, glaucescent beneath and there villous along the veins, the rachis similarly villous, but scarcely prickly or gland-bearing; stipules small, entire, obscurely villous-margined; leaflets 5 or 7, small for the plant, sessile, the terminals elliptic, laterals narrowly oval, all lightly closely and evenly serrate: peduncles and the whole calyx more or less obviously beset with short stout strongly gland-tipped bristles, but otherwise glabrous: fruit small for the plant, depressed-globose, the sepals persistent and closely reflexed over it.

Shrub said to be common in rocky woods in the northwestern part of Missouri, as collected by Mr. B. F. Bush, and distributed by him for R. Arkansana, under numbers 160, 167, 170, 208, etc., chiefly in the year 1896. It is plainly of the group of R. heliophila, often flowering like that only corymbosely at the end of a tall shoot of the season; but this tall shoot becomes a strong woody stem to flower the next year from mostly one-flowered lateral twigs. By characters of leaf and fruit it is clearly distinguishable from the more common half-herbaceous thing so widely dispersed on open prairies. There are traces of this same R. rudiuscula in U. S. Herb, from Kansas and Nebraska, but no satisfactory specimens like these excellent ones by Mr. Bush.

The two roses next succeeding, while apparently of low growth and small, are removed from the R. heliophila alliance by a truly shrubby growth, lack of the dense bristly prickliness, and the presence of conspicuous infrastipular spines. Their habitat is far beyond the prairies, in the region of the Rocky Mountains.

ROSA FIMBRIATULA. Low, much branched, the branches slender, scarcely armed except by pairs of infrastipular prickles, these stoutish, straight, spreading; leaves small, green and glabrous on both faces, neither face shining, the lower paler; rachis very slender, but beset with a few singularly stout prickles and a greater number of short ones that are strongly gland-tipped; stipules broad and foliaceous for the size of the plant, entire, edged all around with short-stalked glands forming a close series; leaflets 7 or 9, small, short-petiolulate, broadly cuneate-obovate, very obtuse, deeply and finely serrate all around except at and near the base: flowers in corymbs of 3 to 5 at the ends of the branches: fruits small, depressed-globose, smooth and glabrous; sepals persistent, erect, more or less stipitate-glandular.

*CybeRose note: The Missouri River originates in the Rocky Mountains in Montana, flows eastward to North Dakota, down through South Dakota, between Nebraska/Kansas and Iowa/Missouri, then merges with the Mississippi at St. Louis.

Lindley quoted Pronville (1818), who actually wrote: "M. Noisette has received from England a rose-tree which appears to be a variety of pimpinellifolia, and which comes from Missouri, North America. Mr. Kennedy sent it under the name of rosa lutea nigra."

The type specimens of this are from Montana, and were collected by Lester F. Ward, in what year we are not informed but they are autumnal specimens, the date being given as Sept. 1. The locality is specified as "Right bank of the Missouri River, 15 miles below Round Butte." Some one appears to have named the plant as R. Californica var. ultramontana; but a note attached to the sheet, in the hand of Mr. F. Crépin, reads "an Rosa Woodsii, Lindl.?" The trouble with Rosa Woodsii is, that no one can find, anywhere in the West, a wild rose answering to the description that Lindley gave of it; for he attributed to it a foliage shining above, paler beneath; and there is no western rose known to us with leaflets polished or shining above. Moreover, he who will read Lindley's account of the origin of R. Woodsii will see that its pedigree is quite too mythical. The seed from which the bush grew may have come from "near the Missouri," and it may have come from some part of the world very remote from the Missouri.*

ROSA SANDBERGII. Stout, rigid, much branched but low, the branches glabrous, reddened, sparsely armed with short stout slightly curved prickles: leaves small, with rather crowded small leaflets; rachis slender, glabrous, glandless and with no trace of prickles; adnate part of stipules narrow, thin, glabrous, glandless, the lobes dilated, abruptly acuminate, their margins with some few sessile glands; leaflets 5 to 7, thin, obovate, obtuse, sharply serrate, rather pallid and glaucescent as well as wholly glabrous on both faces: flowers mainly solitary at ends of short twigs; calyx glabrous except as to the pubescent margins of the sepals: fruits small, globose, smooth and glabrous, crowned with the persistent small sepals.

Colgate, Dawson Co., Montana, collected in 1892 by Messrs. Sandberg, MacDougal and Heller; their n. 1009 as in U. S. Herb.