Friday, September 22, 2023

The first and the last wild rose

 Burnet rose Rosa pimpinellifolia is always the first wild rose to come into bloom, in late May, and also the last the continue blooming; I have found it in flower on Christmas day in years when the winter is mild. It's currently putting on a fine early-autumn display at my local nature reserve, Durham Wildlife Trust's Low Barns reserve at Witton-le-Wear. On a chilly autumn day just one sniff of its intense scent takes me right back to warm summer afternoons.

Rosa pimpinellifolia is the prickliest of all the wild roses and the easiest to identify, because the hips ripen to deep purple and then to black as autumn progresses. It's most often found on coastal sites, in sea cliffs and sand dunes, but there are a few places in Weardale where it grows in hedgerows. Some of these are close to habitation, which may be a reflection of it being cultivated in the past and then escaping back into the wild. These days, most gardeners would find it too invasive because it suckers freely, but cultivars known as Scotch roses have been grown for centuries, as Rosa spinosissima.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.