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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 9 | Rosaceae | Rosa

93. Rosa roxburghii Trattinnick, Ros. Monogr. 2: 233. 1823.

缫丝花 sao si hua

Rosa microphylla Desfontaines var. glabra Regel.

Shrubs diffuse, 1–2.5 m tall. Bark gray-brown; branchlets ascending-spreading, purple-brown, terete; prickles paired at nodes, mostly straight, to 5 mm, somewhat flat, abruptly narrowing to broad base. Leaves including petiole 5–11 cm; stipules mostly adnate to petiole, free parts subulate, margin glandular-pubescent; rachis and petioles with scattered small prickles; leaflets 9–15, elliptic or oblong, rarely obovate, 1–2 × 0.6–1.2 cm, glabrous, abaxially with prominent veins, conspicuously reticulate, base broadly cuneate, margin acutely simply serrulate, apex acute or rounded-obtuse. Flowers solitary, or 2 or 3 and fasciculate apically on branches, 4–6 cm in diam.; pedicel short; bracts 2 or 3, small, margin glandular-pubescent. Hypanthium depressed-globose, densely bristly. Sepals 5, usually broadly ovate, abaxially densely prickly, adaxially tomentose, pinnately lobed, apex acuminate. Petals 5, slightly fragrant, pink to rose-purple or reddish, obovate. Carpels on projected torus at base of hypanthium; styles free, not exserted, shorter than stamens, pubescent. Hip green-red, depressed-globose, 1.5–2 cm in diam., densely prickly, with persistent, erect sepals. Fl. Mar–Jul, fr. Aug–Oct.

Mountain forests, thickets, slopes, stream sides, also cultivated; 500--1400 m. Anhui, Fujian, S Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Japan].

Two forms may be recognized: f. roxburghii, which has double or semi-double, reddish or pink flowers 5–6 cm in diam., and f. normalis Rehder & E. H. Wilson (in Sargent, Pl. Wilson. 2: 318. 1915), which has simple, pink flowers 4–6 cm in diam. The specific epithet was spelled “roxbourgii” in the protologue.

The edible fruit are very rich in vitamins and have a sweet, sour taste; they are used medicinally and to ferment wine. The roots are also used medicinally. The species is also cultivated for ornament, for its showy flowers, or as a hedge because of its abundant prickles.


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  • Flora of China Illustrations vol. 9, fig. 152, 4-6
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