UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

Davidsonia Jun 1, 1978

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Summer 1978 Cover:
Rosa nutkana, Nootka Rose.
Ranunculus repens, Creeping Buttercup,
a member of the Family Ranunculaceae
which is naturalized in the coastal areas
of British Columbia.
Summer 1978
Davidsonia is published quarterly by The Botanical Garden of The University of British
Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1W5. Annual subscription, six
dollars. Single numbers, one dollar and fifty cents. All information concerning subscriptions
should be addressed to the Director of The Botanical Garden. Potential contributors are
invited to submit articles and/or illustrative material for review by the Editorial Board.
A cknowledgements
The pen and ink illustrations of fungi are by Mr. W. McLennan,' all other illustrations are by
Mrs. Lesley Bohm. The photograph on page 31 was taken by Dr. Roy L. Taylor, and the one
on page 43 by Mrs. Marie Shaflik. The article on Rosa, including the distribution maps, was
researched and prepared by Mrs. Sylvia Taylor. Editorial and layout assistance was provided
by Mrs. Sylvia Taylor and Mrs. Pam Robin.
ISSN 0045-9739
Second Class Mail Registration Number 3313 Macrofungi in The Botanical Garden
The clearing of forested land, as has occurred during the development of The Botanical Garden,
results in radical changes in populations of mushrooms and other large fungi. Since fungal assimilative structures are buried in soil or wood and are thus invisible, our observations of the changes are
based on the appearance of fruiting bodies. It is possible, therefore, that many of the species are
present before clearing and that they fruit abundantly in response to the changed environmental conditions. However, many of the species found in altered areas seem to fruit only under these
conditions and, presumably, such species may become established only after changes have occurred.
The kinds of fungi that are observed in changed areas vary somewhat with the amount of clearing and
the kind of use to which the land is put after clearing. In this article, only a few of the most abundant
species are discussed.
Soil that has been completely cleared of vegetation
and humus generally yields large quantities of the
Orange Cup Fungus, Aleuria aurantia (Persoon)
Fuck el (Figure 1). This species is especially abundant
on coarse, wet soils during the fall months, but it can
also occur at other times and on land that has only
partially been cleared. During the past year, for
example, the species was abundant in both the Native
Garden and the Asian Garden. Aleuria aurantia
develops either singly or in crowded masses, the
individual cups often reaching 10 cm in diameter. The
species is edible, but is not considered choice, and it is
also difficult to remove sand from the specimens. The
Orange Cup Fungus fruits for several years on cleared
land which is left unplanted, even after the
development of alders.
FIGURE I. Aleuria aurantia, Orange Cup
Fungus, has been common in the Native
Garden and Asian Garden components of
The Botanical Garden, x 1.
A species related to Aleuria aurantia and occurring on soils where there is better drainage and
nutrients is the Saddle Fungus, Gyromitra infula Quelet (Figure 2). Gyromitra infula and the related
species Gyromitra esculenta Fries both occur in the campus area surrounding The Botanical Garden.
Gyromitra esculenta, a spring species, sometimes causes poisoning similar to that of the Amanitas. In
spite of this fact, it is a highly prized mushroom in parts of Europe, because the water-soluble poisons
can be removed by parboiling the specimens before preparing by conventional means. Gyromitra
infula, occurring in the fall, is also edible but is viewed with suspicion because of its close relationship
with G. esculenta.
*R. J. Bandoni, Department of Botany, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
**W. McLennan, Museum of Anthropology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. FIGURE 2. Gyromitra infula, the Saddle Fungus,
occurs in the fall in The Botanical Garden, x 1.
Several unusual fungi develop in abundance within young alder thickets in the campus area. These
include a true Truffle, Hydnotrya cubispora (Bessey and Thomson) Gilkey (Euascomycetes), and
one of the False Truffles, Alpova diplophloeus (Zeller and Dodge) Trappe (Basidiomycetes: Figure
3). Fruiting bodies of the truffles are generally hypogeous (developing below the soil surface) and are
difficult to find. In Europe, pigs and dogs are trained to locate the extremely valuable truffles of
commerce, the current price of which is approximately $400.00 per pound. However, both
Hydnotrya cubispora and Alpova diplophloeus fruit at or near the surface and their fruiting bodies
0 are easily found. Hydnotrya fruit bodies reach a maximum of approximately 6-7 cm in diameter, and
t£i£ consist of a much-folded, lobed structure which is whitish in color. Alpova diplophloeus has small
tuber-like fruit bodies which are mostly less than 2 cm diameter and brownish, although they may
have a reddish cast to them. Hydnotrya can be found in the spring but it is most abundant in the fall,
as is the Alpova. Both species develop for several years in young alder thickets, then disappear.
Several wood-decay mushrooms are common in the fall months for some years after land is
cleared; they are still developing in the sodded area adjacent to The E. H. Lohbrunner Alpine
Garden. The most abundant of these species is Pholiota terrestris Overholts (Figure 4), which fruits
from late summer through early winter. The light tan to brown fruiting bodies become pale and viscid
during the prolonged wet weather of late fall. They are present either in very large clusters or in small
groups, and the assimilative structure develops in buried wood. Pholiota terrestris is edible, but is not
considered choice.
FIGURE 3. Alpova diplophloeus, a False Truffle,
x2. Two mushrooms which grow in the same habitat as Pholiota terrestris and which superficially
resemble one another are Naematoloma fasciculare (Hudson ex Fries) Karsten (Figure 5) and
Pholiota malicola Smith and Hessler. Both species have yellow fruiting bodies that have an orange
cast on the surface when young and both have a partial veil, but N. fasciculare has purple-brown
spores whereas P. malicola has rusty brown spores. Naematoloma fasciculare is common in
woodlands and can be found growing directly on trees and stumps as well as on buried wood. This
species is called the Sulfur Top or Sulfur Tuft, and, with age, the color changes to pale yellowish
while the gills often have a greenish cast. It has an extremely bitter flavor which is unpalatable, and
the deaths of several children in Japan have been attributed to ingestion of this species. Pholiota
malicola lacks the bitter flavor and does not show the color change that occurs in N. fasciculare. The
odor of our variety of P. malicola resembles that of green corn, but the edibility of this species is not
FIGURE 4. Pholiota terrestris, a wood decay mushroom which is often found growing from buried
wood on cleared land, x 1.
The common Inky Cap, Coprinus atramentarius (Buillard ex Fries) Fries (Figure 6), occurs with
the above species, especially in or adjacent to the young alder thickets or along the edges of the
cleared forest. This species is abundant on campus during the wet months of late summer and fall, as
is the Shaggy Mane, C. comatus (Muller ex Fries) S. F. Gray. Both are eaten, although C.
atramentarius is known to contain an unusual toxin with "antabuse" -like activity. Symptoms of
acute intoxication may occur if an alcoholic beverage is consumed when C. atramentarius is eaten.
These symptoms generally are followed by nausea and vomiting. The symptoms can also appear if the
mushrooms are eaten and the alcoholic drink is consumed later, even up to 48 hours afterwards.
The Honey Mushroom or Shoestring Mushroom, Armillariella mellea (Fries) Karsten (Figure 7),
sometimes grows on dead wood or from the roots of trees in lawns but is more common on dead trees
or on the ground in woods. This species, which kills many kinds of plants and lives on the dead
remains, was especially abundant in the Asian Garden during the past fall. The cap color is the source
of the name "Honey Mushroom", while the second common name is derived from the flattened,
shoelace-like strands which it produces. The strands, called rhizomorphs, often develop between the
bark and wood of infected trees and can be seen by stripping away the outer bark. Armillariella
mellea can be eaten and it is a favorite among many mushroom collectors, but it is not highly
regarded as an esculent in Europe. Infrequently, ingestion of this mushroom causes nausea and
vomiting. 24
FIGURE 5. Naematoloma fasciculare, Sulfur Top
or Sulfur Tuft,xl.
FIGURE 6. Coprinus atramentarius, Inky Cap.x 1.
FIGURE 7. Armillariella mellea, Honey Mushroom
or Shoestring Mushroom, x0.75. A number of common woodland mushrooms develop in the less disturbed areas of the Botanical
Garden, where much of the native vegetation remains. These include the Chantarelle, Cantharellus
cibarius Fries; the Gemmed Amanita, Amanita gemmata (Fries) Gillet; the Brown Chantarelle,
Paxillus involutus (Batsch ex Fries) Fries; and our commonest Bolete, Boletus zelleri Murrill.
Cantharellus cibarius is a valued mushroom in Europe and is also heavily collected locally. It is
common on Point Grey from mid-July through late October or November, but it is often overlooked.
This species occurs in well-developed conifer forests in the province, and has been present in the
Native Garden during the past three years. It is commonly associated with broad-leaved trees in some
regions. In July the fruit bodies can be found on or adjacent to trails, often hidden by overhanging
branches of Salal. The more abundant and larger fruiting bodies of September and October are
typically scattered among the conifer trees. Cantharellus cibarius can be recognized by its coarse,
ridge-like gills that branch frequently and are strongly decurrent (Figure 8), its cap form, and yellow
FIGURE 8. Cantharellus cibarius, Chantarelle, x 1.
Like the true Chantarelle above, the Brown Chantarelle, Paxillus involutus, is a mycorrhizal
fungus living in symbiotic association with forest trees. Paxillus involutus (Figure 9) is our most
abundant forest mushroom in the fall, and it also occurs along boulevards in association with birch
trees. The tan to brown fruiting bodies have strongly decurrent gills, but they are knife-like rather
than as in Cantharellus cibarius. The margin of the cap is strongly inrolled (involute) and the color
rapidly changes to dark reddish-brown wherever bruises occur. This species is sometimes eaten but it
is of poor quality, and it can cause relatively severe poisoning if eaten raw.
The commonest of the Amanitas on Point Grey is Amanita gemmata, which is abundant on the
campus during summer and fall. Its usual habitat is in association with Douglas Fir, especially where
the trees are well spaced. The pale yellowish caps (Figure 10) generally are covered by wart-like
remnants of the universal veil, and a well-developed volva is also present. In wet periods, the "warts"
are washed away by rain; in dry months, the partial veil typically adheres to the cap margin rather
than to the stipe. In the latter case, the absence of a "ring" or annulus on the stipe may cause
difficulty in identification. This species is closely related to Amanita pantherina (de Candolle ex
Fries) Schumacher, the Panther Agaric, but it is not as toxic as that species. Amanita pantherina is
collected infrequently on Point Grey, but is abundant on Vancouver Island in habitats similar to
those occupied by A. gemmata.
25 Boletus zelleri (Figure 11) occurs with Douglas Fir, both in the forests and in cultivated areas. It is
one of the first Boletes to appear in the fall and is generally the last to disappear in the winter. The
dark brownish surface of the cap is usually dusted by an inconspicuous whitish bloom; beneath the
brown layer, the color is distinctly red. The flesh and pore surfaces are pale yellowish, and the stipe is
streaked with red. Boletus zelleri is an excellent edible species and it can be collected in abundance.
However, many of the specimens are riddled by insect larvae, especially during dry periods or late in
the season.
Other boletes common on the campus include several species of the genus Suillus. These are
associated with specific tree varieties, such as introduced pines and larches. Suillus luteus (Fries) S. F.
Gray (Figure 12) is one of the common species associated with pines. This species is called the Butter
Mushroom, Slippery Jack, Peg-top, etc., and has a thick, glutinous veil covering the young caps. The
flesh is pale yellowish, the stipe and pores are yellow, and the cap surface is brown or reddish-brown.
The brownish color of the cap stems from the thick glutinous layer and an annulus of similar color
typically is present.
Paxillus involutus, Brown Chantarelle,
The common Gemmed Puffball, Lycoperdon perlatum Persoon, is abundant on the campus and in
the Botanical Gardens. This species is not associated with any specific plant and, in fact, has been
observed to grow up through a narrow crack between blacktop and a sidewalk in the University
Village. Lycoperdon perlatum is edible if collected before the flesh (gleba) has changed from white to
yellow. However, care should be taken not to confuse this with species of Scleroderma, such as S.
cepa (Vaillant) Persoon. This Scleroderma is also abundant on the campus and it is mildly poisonous.
Scleroderma cepa fruiting bodies have a thick peridial layer and a coarse rooting base (Figure 13).
When cut, the centre of the gleba is generally purplish, with the color becoming more intense after
exposure to air. Lycoperdon fruiting bodies function as natural bellows when the spores are mature.
The peridium is thin and flexible, and there is only a small opening at the top (Figure 14). When
raindrops strike the peridium, spores are puffed through the opening. Sclerodermas, on the other
hand, have thick, relatively rigid peridial walls when mature. The upper portion splits irregularly or
cracks and falls away, exposing the spore mass. FIGURE 10. Amanita gemmata, Gemmed Amanita,
FIGURE 11. Boletus zelleri, the commonest Bolete
in The Botanical Garden, x 1.
FIGURE 12. Suillus luteus, the Butter Mushroom or
Peg-top, x 1. FIGURES 13 and 14. Fruiting bodies of Scleroderma cepa (left) and Lycoperdon perlatum (right), both x 1. Note
the thick outer layer of Scleroderma compared with the thin and flexible one of the mature Lycoperdon.
The two questions most commonly asked concerning mushrooms are: "What is it?" and "Is it
edible?". The answer to the first question is not always easy, since mushrooms are among the most
difficult of organisms to identify. The number of mushroom species is very large and, conversely, the
number of monographs is very small. Most of the available mushroom books treat no more than a
small fraction of the species of any area. Accurate identification of most species requires careful
microscopic examination, because macroscopic features are not reliable for characterizing many
species. Finally, the number of mycologists specializing in mushroom taxonomy is very small (there
are less than half a dozen in Canada, and they are in the eastern provinces). The mushrooms of
British Columbia have received little study; there are no monographs or checklists for the
province — or for the west coast of North America.
Answers concerning edibility also are difficult to give in many instances. First, any statement on
edibility should be based on accurate identification. Next, the variations within mushroom species
and between human beings must be considered. Some commonly utilized species, the cultivated
mushrooms for example, can be eaten by almost all individuals. Other mushrooms (e.g., the Honey
Mushroom) are regularly eaten by many people, but cause nausea and vomiting in certain
individuals. Other mushroom species considered to be reliable table forms infrequently cause gastero-
intestinal disturbances.
A final point should be made concerning poisonous mushrooms. Statements as to the number of
poisonous species vary widely in popular books on mushrooms. In recent years, studies conducted at
the University of Washington have revealed a rather large number of toxic species for this region.
These include potentially fatally-toxic species as well as those causing mild gastero-intestinal disturbances. The sporadic appearance of a species in a given area has led many mycologists to believe
that some poisonous mushrooms were of limited distribution. For example, Amanita phalloides
(Bulliard) Fries has been responsible in recent years for a number of cases of poisoning in North
America. The species was previously essentially unknown from this continent. In British Columbia,
we are aware of only two species with similar toxins. Amanita verna (Fries) Quelet, or a similar form,
occurs in the Nanaimo area, and Galerina autumnalis (Peck) Singer and Smith is common on Point
Grey and probably elsewhere in the province. Less toxic mushrooms, such as Amanita gemmata, A.
muscaria, and species of Clitocybe, Inocybe, and Psilocybe of varying degrees of toxicity occur on
the campus. For those who interests are largely concerned with mushrooms as food, it is wise to stick to a few
"tried and true" species that can be recognized with little difficulty. With help, the novice collector
can learn to recognize some of the choice edible species listed below (all occur in the Lower Mainland
Cantharellus cibarius, the Chantarelle
Pleurotus ostreatus Fries, the Oyster Mushroom
Morchella spp., the true Morels or Sponge Mushrooms
Boletus zelleri, Suillus luteus and similar Boletes
Lycoperdon perlatum, the Gemmed Puffball
These species are described and illustrated in a number of popular books on mushrooms.
Bandoni, R. J. and A. F. Szczawinski. 1976. Rev. ed. Guide to Common Mushrooms of British Columbia. Handbook #24. e~\c\
B.C. Provincial Museum, Victoria, British Columbia. (djiy
Groves, J. Walton. 1962. Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of Canada. Research Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture.
Publication 1112. Queen's Printer, Ottawa.
Guild, B. 1977. The Alaskan Mushroom Hunter's Guide. Alaska Northwest Publishing Co., Anchorage, Alaska.
lmazeki, R. and T. Hongo. n.d. Kinoko. Nature Color Guide Series, Japan. [An illustrated pocket field guide in Japanese.]
Miller, Orson, K. 1972. Mushrooms of North America. E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., New York. [A new paperback edition is now
Renaldi, A. and V. Tyndalo. 1974. The Complete Book of Mushrooms. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York.
Smith, A. H. 1971. The Mushroom Hunter's Field Guide. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
 ..    1975. A Field Guide to Western Mushrooms. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Genus Rosa in British Columbia
Member of the Family Rosaceae
ROSA ACICULARIS Lindley subsp. SAYI (Schweinitz) W. H. Lewis
Prickly Rose
ROSA ARKANSANA T. C. Porter in Porter & Coulter
Low Prairie Rose
Dog Rose
ROSA GYMNOCARPA Nuttall in Torrey & Gray
Baldhip Rose
Nootka Rose
Clustered Wild Rose
Sweet Briar
Woods Rose
Natural Distribution and Habitat
The genus Rosa consists of more than 100 species distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere,
about 18 species are native to North America and, of these, six may be found in British Columbia.
There are also two European species which have become naturalized in the province. Natural
hybridization and other factors often make firm recognition difficult. Future studies may reduce the
number of species recognized.
Rosa acicularis subsp. sayi is found in open woods, thickets, on hills and banks throughout the
interior of British Columbia from Hope east, except in very arid areas. The species is circumpolar in
the boreal coniferous forest in North America, Europe and northern Asia. Rosa arkansana is
common in open woods in the eastern part of British Columbia from Fort Nelson to Pine Pass and
east to Chetwynd and Clayhurst. The range is from New York west to eastern British Columbia, and
south to Montana, New Mexico and Texas. Rosa gymnocarpa is present in moist to usually dry
woods and on more rocky exposed places from near sealevel to about 600 m throughout southern
British Columbia as far north as latitude 52°N. Over the range it occurs from sealevel to about 1800
m from southern British Columbia and northwest Montana south to the west of the Continental
Divide to southern Idaho, then south in and west of the Cascade Mountains to the Sierra Nevada,
Rosa nutkana is present from sealevel to moderate elevations in thickets where the soil is fairly
rich, and also along the borders of salt marshes and on coastal bluffs. The species is widely
distributed along the coast of British Columbia, on the Queen Charlotte Islands, and in the Interior
as far north as about latitude 56° N. The range is coastal from Alaska and British Columbia south to
northern California, and inland east in the Rocky Mountains to Utah and Colorado. Rosapisocarpa, FIGURE 15. Rosa gymnocarpa, Baldhip Rose, which is common throughout southern British Columbia. This
species is distinguished by the absence of floral parts on the mature hips.
a woodland species, occurs in thickets, along stream banks, and in wet places at low elevations, often
along the seashore, in southern British Columbia, where it occurs chiefly on Vancouver Island and in
the lower Fraser Valley as far east as Yale. The range is from the southern Mackenzie District south
to southern California and northern Mexico east of the Pacific Coast ranges, and east to the Great
Plains as far as Manitoba, Wisconsin, Iowa, western Oklahoma and Texas. Rosa woodsii is usually
present in moist places along stream banks and around ponds in the foothills and lowlands east of the
Cascade Mountains and in the Peace River District of British Columbia. The range is British
Columbia and Saskatchewan south to eastern Oregon, Nebraska, west Texas and northern Mexico.
The two naturalized species both are found in the coastal area of British Columbia. Rosa canina is
naturalized in thickets and along roadsides at low elevations. It occurs naturally in Europe as far
north as 62° N, western Asia and North Africa, but has become naturalized in North America west of
the Cascade Mountains, in northern Idaho, and in parts of the eastern United States. Rosa rubiginosa
is naturalized along roadsides, in pastures and waste places on the coast at Victoria and in New
Westminster. It occurs naturally in Europe, mainly on calcareous soils, as far north as 61 °N, and in
western Asia to northwest India, but has become naturalized in North America from British
Columbia south to northwestern California west of the Cascades, in the eastern United States, and is
occasionally found elsewhere in North America. Description of the Genus Rosa
Erect to somewhat lax perennial shrubs, often with scandent stems, a few centimetres to several
metres tall, more or less prickly, seldom unarmed, often with a pair of prickles (the infrastipular
prickles) at or just below the node. Prickles are modified hairs from the epidermal surface of the stem
which have become woody. Prickles of all grades from fine to massive may be present on some stems.
In roses the infrastipular prickles are often much larger and stronger than the others. Thorns, on the
other hand, arise from leaf axils and are modified stems, which often bear leaves or flowers as
evidence of their origin. In the British Columbian species of Rosa the prickles are straight to more or
less strongly curved or hooked, 3-6 mm long, round to flattened, occasionally much dilated and flattened at the base, and vary from slender and often weak to stout and well-developed. The
infrastipular prickles may be absent or not clearly differentiated from the others or much enlarged
and often flattened at the base.
Stems slender to stout, green, brown or gray, glabrous to glandular, erect to arching. The
flowering branches are often unarmed. First year suckers are usually more prickly than the ordinary
Twigs light green becoming reddish, reddish-brown or gray with age, glabrous or glaucous to
densely glandular-hispid. Pith relatively large, whitish-green or brownish, and rounded. Leafscars
alternate, low, narrowly and shallowly U-shaped or almost linear; bundle traces 3. Stipule scars
Bark brown.
Roots deep, and fibrous.
Leaves deciduous, alternate, 5-10 cm long, odd-pinnately compound with 3-11 leaflets, and
stipitate. Leaflets paired except at top, usually sessile, elliptic to obovate or circular, 1-3 (-5) cm long
and 0.5-3(-4.5) cm broad. The apex is rounded to acute or acuminate and the base is usually somewhat rounded to cuneate. The upper surface is light to dark green, dull or shiny, and glabrous or
nearly so to slightly glandular and hairy. The lower surface is paler and glabrous to puberulent or
densely glandular-pubescent, especially on the veins. The margin is coarsely to finely and closely
singly or doubly serrate, with the teeth often glandtipped in the latter case. The lower leaflets are
occasionally smaller than the upper ones. The crushed foliage may develop to a greater or lesser
extent a smell similar to bitter almonds after a few minutes because of the presence of benzaldehyde.
The petiole is glabrous to finely downy, sometimes sparsely prickly, and slightly to very glandular.
The rachis is usually puberulent to subglabrous, and eglandular to evidently stipitate-glandular.
The stipules are well-developed, usually green, leafy, often paired and adnate to the petiole. They
are 1-2.5 cm long, and narrow to broad or dilated with a short pointed apex.
Flowers are usually large, showy, strongly perigynous, perfect, fragrant, and solitary or in small
(rarely large) corymbs at the ends of short growths (either main and/or lateral shoots) of the current
year's growth. Sepals 5, often pinnate and appearing as lobes of the calyx-like floral cup, greenish,
lanceolate to ovate and usually constricted in the middle, (0.5-)l-3(-4) cm long and 2.5-5(-6) mm
broad at the base. They are often foliaceous with flattened appendages, and are usually persistent in
fruit. Petals 5, light pink to deep rose or red, less often white, (1-)1.5-4 cm long, spreading, broad and
notched at the apex, and inserted on the disc at the edge of the floral cup alternating with the sepals.
Stamens numerous, distinct, inserted on the disc at the edge of the floral cup, and commonly in 3
series. Styles numerous, slender, inserted with the floral cup but free and distinct and more or less
exserted from the usually narrow mouth. Stigmas capitate, single, subterminal, slender, and
commonly forming a cluster at the mouth of the floral cup. Floral cup or hypanthium is composed of
a portion of the receptacle plus some corolla and calyx material, is globose to ellipsoid or pyriform,
mostly 3-5(-10) mm diameter at anthesis, and naked or sometimes with hairy bractlets. Ovary
partially superior, several, hairy-capitate, and 1-celled. Ovule single, pendulous. Pedicel slender to
stout, erect to somewhat curved, 0.5-2.5(-4) cm long, and glabrous to coarsely stipitate-glandular.
The age at first flowering is usually 2-4 years in most species. Fruit an achene which is one-sided, bony, usually long-hairy on at least part of the surface, brown,
and 3-6(-8) mm long. The seed is enclosed in a hard pericarp within the achene. The floral cup
enlarges to form the hip which contains a few to many achenes. The hip is more or less fleshy,
somewhat berry-like, globose to ellipsoid or pyriform, red or red-orange to purplish, 0.6-2(-2.5) cm
long, 0.5-2(-2.5) cm diameter, usually glabrous to somewhat hispid-glandular, and persistent well
into the winter in most species. Good seed crops are usually produced every year, although may be
biennial in some species.
Key to the species in British Columbia
Stems erect or arching; prickles mostly stout, recurved or hooked, and flattened; sepals tending to be reflexed after anthesis, usually sooner or later deciduous, some with conspicuous lateral lobes. Introduced species.
Erect, much-branched shrub, l-2.5(-3.5) m tall; infrastipular prickles not clearly differentiated; leaflets 5-7(-9), broadly elliptic to circular or seldom ovate, doubly serrate,
fragrant; flowers single or in small cymes of 1-3, very fragrant; hip scarlet-red to
orange-red, subglobose to ovoid or ellipsoid Rosa rubiginosa
Somewhat erect, coarse shrub, 1-3 m tall; infrastipular prickles usually straight and often
paired; leaflets 5-7(-ll), elliptic to ovate or obovate, sharply singly or doubly serrate, not fragrant; flowers solitary or in small bracteate corymbs of 2-4(-5), fragrant; hip scarlet becoming blackish, globose to ellipsoid or ovoid Rosa canina
Stems erect, not or scarcely arching; prickles stout or weak but seldom much recurved; sepals
generally ascending or erect after anthesis, persistent except in one species (R. gymnocarpa), seldom with lateral lobes. Native species.
Sepals, top of floral cup and styles deciduous as fruit matures; sepals 0.5-1.2 cm long.
Slender, erect to lax shrub, 0.3-1.5(-2.5) m tall; prickles slender, numerous, weak
and straight; infrastipular prickles if present slender and seldom obviously differentiated; leaflets 5-8, elliptic to obovate or sometimes ovate, usually sharply doubly
serrate; flowers usually solitary, rarely 2-4; hip red to orange-red, subglobose to
pyriform or narrowly ellipsoid; achenes few to about 12 Rosa gymnocarpa
Sepals and styles long-persistent; sepals often well over 1.2 cm long.
Stems more or less bristly with slender prickles; infrastipular prickles absent or if
present not clearly differentiated.
Somewhat lax much-branched shrub, 0.2-1.5(-2.0) m tall; leaflets (3-)5-7(-9), elliptic to ovate or obovate, singly to commonly coarsely doubly serrate; flowers
mostly solitary or sometimes in small clusters of 2 or 3; hip dark red to reddish-purple, globose to ellipsoid or pyriform with a distinct neck, sepals
becoming erect or connivent; achenes commonly 15-25. Low shrub of
forested regions Rosa acicularis subsp. sayi
Semishrub with stems woody at base only and dying back partly or wholly each
year, 0.2-1.5(-2.0) m tall, occasionally truly shrubby in sheltered places; leaflets (5-)9-ll, elliptic to obovate, sharply simply serrate; flowers generally
several in corymbiform cymes; hip purplish, globose to pyriform, sepals
becoming more or less spreading; achenes commonly 15-30. Semishrub of
dry plains and prairies Rosa arkansana
Stems mostly with well-defined infrastipular prickles, sometimes nearly unarmed.
Flowers mostly 4-6(-8) cm diameter and commonly solitary; sepals mostly 1.5-4 cm
long, 3-6 mm wide at base; petals mostly 2.5-4 cm long; floral cup 5-10 mm
diameter at anthesis becoming 12-20 mm diameter in fruit. Robust, erect
33 shrub, l-3(-4) m tall, often forming dense thickets; prickles stout, whitish,
paired, flattened, straight to curved; infrastipular prickles straight, often
much enlarged and conspicuously flattened towards base; leaflets 5-7(-9),
elliptic to broadly elliptic, singly to doubly serrate; flowers rarely corymbose;
hip purple to red, subglobose to globose; achenes several to many
 Rosa nutkana
Flowers usually less than 5 cm across and commonly clustered; sepals mostly 1-2
cm long, 2-3.5 mm wide at base; petals 1.2-2.5 cm long; floral cup 3-5 mm
thick at anthesis becoming 10-15(-20) mm diameter in fruit.
Upright, dense but slender shrub, l-2(-3) m tall; prickles weak, straight, slender, few; infrastipular prickles weak, straight, sometimes absent; leaflets
5-7(-9), elliptic to ovate, finely and closely serrate; flowers 3-6 in a corymbiform bracteate cyme; hip reddish-purple, pyriform to ellipsoid or
globose; achenes commonly more than 20. West of Cascade mountains
 Rosa pisocarpa
Upright rather lax to somewhat stiff, sometimes much-branched shrub, 0.5-2
(-3) m tall; prickles straight to curved, slender, terete, brittle; infrastipular prickles usually well-developed, paired, straight to somewhat
recurved and terete; leaflets 5-7(-ll), obovate to elliptic, coarsely singly
to doubly serrate; flowers solitary or in small corymbs of 1-5; hip red,
globose to ellipsoid or pyriform; achenes mostly 15-30. East of the
Cascades Rosa woodsii
Description of the species
Rosa acicularis subsp. sayi — Leaves 5-9 cm long. Leaflets 1.5-6(-8) cm long, 0.5-3(-4.5) cm wide,
34 with lower ones usually smaller than upper. Stipules broad with a pointed apex. Flowers 2-5(-6) cm
diameter, pink to red, fragrant, in June to August in British Columbia or as early as May in other
parts of the range. Hip l-2(-2.5) cm long, 0.6-1.5(-2.0) cm diameter, glabrous, and persistent through
the winter becoming shrunken, wrinkled and curved downward. Achenes about 5 mm long.
Rosa arkansana — Leaflets (l-)2.5-4(-5) cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide and often appearing rather
crowded. Stipules dilated. Flowers 2.5-4 cm diameter, pink to red (sometimes white), in June to
August in British Columbia and June to July in other parts of the range. Hips 0.8-1.5 cm diameter.
Achenes about 4 mm long.
Rosa gymnocarpa — Leaflets 1-4 cm long, 0.5-3 cm wide. Stipules narrow to broad. Flowers
1.5-2.5 cm diameter, light pink to deep rose or red, in May to August throughout the range. Hip
about 1 cm long, 0.4-0.6 cm diameter, and glabrous. Achenes 3-5 mm long.
Rosa nutkana — Leaves 6-10 cm long. Leaflets 1.5-5 cm long, 0.6-4.0(-4.5) cm wide. Upper
stipules dilated and short-pointed. Flowers 4-6(-8) cm diameter, pink to red, in May to July
throughout the range. Hip 1-2 cm long, 1.2-2.2 cm diameter, glabrous to densely bristly or prickly,
and persistent through the winter becoming wrinkled and upright. Achenes 4-6(-8) mm long.
Rosa pisocarpa — Leaves 5-7.5 cm long. Leaflets l-4(-8) cm long, 0.7-2 cm wide. Stipules narrow,
although upper ones may be somewhat broader than the lower. Flowers 2.5-3 cm diameter, rose-pink
to red, in May to July in British Columbia and June to August in the remainder of the range. Hip
0.6-1.2(-1.5) cm long, 0.6-0.9 cm diameter. Achenes about 3 mm long.
Rosa woodsii — Leaves 5-10 cm long and crowded. Leaflets (l-)2-5 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide.
Stipules narrow or dilated with a pointed apex. Flowers 2.5-5(-6.5) cm diameter, bright pink to red, in
May to July in British Columbia and June to August in the remainder of the range. Hip 0.6-1.2(-2)
cm long, 0.6-1.2(-1.5) cm diameter, glabrous, and persistent into the winter remaining more or less
upright. Achenes 3-4 mm long. 35
FIGURE 16. Distribution of Rosa species in British Columbia. A. Rosa acicularis subsp. sayi, B. R.
arkansana, C. R. gymnocarpa, D. R. nutkana, E. R. pisocarpa, F. R. woodsii, G. R. canina, H. R.
rubiginosa. Rosa canina — Leaflets (l-)1.5-4 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide. Upper stipules broad and dilated.
Flowers 4-5 cm diameter, pink to red (occasionally white), fragrant, in May to June throughout the
range in North America. Hip (l-)1.5-2 cm long, usually glabrous, and becoming blackish and
withered in the winter. A very variable species.
Rosa rubiginosa (sometimes known as R. eglanteria) — Leaflets l-2.5(-3) cm long, 0.8-1.5 cm
wide, and very glandular with sweet-scented viscous brownish glands below. Flowers 2.5-5 cm
diameter, bright pink to red (occasionally white), very fragrant, in May to July throughout the range
in North America. Hip l-1.5(-2.5) cm long, 1-1.5 cm diameter, generally glabrous to somewhat
glandular-hispid at least at the base. This species differs from most other Rosa species in having
nectar secreted at the edge of the receptacle.
Varieties and Hybrids
The genus Rosa is a taxonomically difficult genus, due partly to infraspecific variation in some
conspicuous characters, partly to frequent interspecific hybridization, and partly to other factors
such as polyploidy and, sometimes, apomixis. Each of the species will hybridize with the others where
the ranges come into contact or in gardens. This great variation has led to the naming of countless
varieties and species, most of which have now been reduced to synonymy.
Rosa acicularis is a variable species with two subspecies presently accepted, subsp. sayi (also known
as var. bourgeauiana Crepin) and subsp. acicularis which is primarily Eurasian but also extends into
Alaska. The species hybridizes with Rosa nutkana where the ranges overlap. Rosa collaris Rydberg
may be a hybrid of R. acicularis and R. gymnocarpa.
Rosa arkansana is a much less variable species, although there is apparently one double-flowered
mutant which has not been named but which has ornamental possibilities.
Rosa gymnocarpa is another variable species in which 10 segregates were named in 1912 based on
OD minor vegetative variations. It hybridizes occasionally with R. acicularis and perhaps also with R.
nutkana where the ranges overlap. The forma floribus albis was found in Okanogan County,
Washington, but is not in commerce.
There are two varieties of Rosa nutkana, both of which are present in British Columbia. The
variety nutkana, Nootka Rose, has the infrastipular prickles much enlarged and conspicuously
flattened at the base, and is the common phase west of the Cascade summits. The variety hispida
Fernald, Bristly Nootka Rose, is the more bristly or prickly of the two and the infrastipular prickles
are seldom enlarged and flattened towards the base. This is the common phase east of the Cascade
summits. The species hybridizes with R. woodsii to a limited extent.
Rosa pisocarpa is the least variable of our native species, although occasional specimens are
difficult to distinguish from some forms of R. woodsii subsp. ultramontana. There are several forms
in the northern Sierra Nevada and the Siskiyou Mountains of California which seem to show
hybridization or intergradation between Rosa californica, R. pisocarpa and R. woodsii subsp.
Rosa woodsii is another very variable species with two subspecies occurring in British Columbia.
The subsp. ultramontana (S. Watson) Taylor & MacBryde, Pearhips Woods Rose, is l-2(-3) m tall
and a rather lax shrub. There are usually 7 leaflets which are 2-5 cm long, elliptic, and have a coarsely
serrate few-toothed margin. The flowers are corymbose with up to 5 flowers per cyme, 2.5-4.5 cm
diameter, and red. There is a large foliaceous bract-like stipule at the base of the inflorescence. This is
the common form of the species in British Columbia. The subsp. woodsii, Woods Rose, is a
somewhat stiff, much-branched shrub which is 0.5-1.5(-2) m tall. The leaves appear crowded and
there are usually 5-7(-ll) leaflets which" are l-3(-4) cm long and obovate to elliptic with often doubly
serrate and usually glandtipped margin. The flowers are solitary or in few-flowered cymes, bright
pink to red, and 5-6.3 cm diameter. There is no foliaceous bract-like stipule at the base of the
inflorescence. This form is generally rare in British Columbia, but occurs in the same areas as the subsp. ultramontana. The species hybridizes with Rosa blanda over a large part of their overlapping
ranges outside British Columbia, resulting in a complete series of intergrading forms in Manitoba,
North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. One of these hybrids has been named Rosa x
dulcissima (Lunell) W. H. Lewis.
Rosa canina is perhaps the most variable of all Rosa species, and at least 60 varieties and subspecies
have been named in Europe. In addition, several other species are believed to have been derived
originally from hybridizations between R. canina and other species. Rosa alba, which was cultivated
in England before 1597, may be a hybrid between Rosa canina and either Rosa gallica or R.
damascena. Rosa centifolia, the Cabbage Rose, is a complex hybrid derived from crossings between
Rosa rubra, R. Phoenicia, R. moschata and R. canina which was developed by Dutch breeders
between 1580 and about 1710. Similarly, Rosa x hibernica is a hybrid between R. canina and R.
spinosissima, and R. x macrantha derives from a cross between R. canina and R. gallica.
Rosa rubiginosa forms one of the parents of innumerable hybrids which used to be very common in
gardens but which are now mostly lost to commerce. The old form 'Clementine' was a natural hybrid
between Rosa rubiginosa and R. damascena which was found in a hedgerow in Cheshire, England. It
was reintroduced as 'Janet's Pride' in 1892.
Ornamental Cultivars
Various Prairie rose breeders have used Rosa acicularis in making crosses aimed at producing
hardier hybrid tea-type roses for Canada. Among these cultivars are cv. Lac La Nonne (R. acicularis
x R. rugosa 'Plena') with very deep pink to almost red flowers which was introduced in 1950 and is
hardy to at least -55°C; cv. Wasagaming ([R. rugosa x R. acicularis] x 'Gruss an Teplitz') with clear
rose red double flowers; cv. Altaians (R. altaica x R. acicularis) with flowers white flushed pink; and
cv. Larry Burnett (R. acicularis x R. spinosissima) which is also very hardy. Breeders in New York
State have used Rosa acicularis in crosses to produce hardier miniature roses.
Crosses between Rosa nutkana and R. rugosa were tried in Sitka in the early part of this century
but were not hardy enough to survive the winters. Cultivars of Rosa nutkana are cv. Halliana with
large pink flowers, and cv. Cantab (R. nutkana x 'Red Letter Day') with red flowers turning purplish
as they fade.
Rosa woodsii subsp. woodsii (as R. macounii) has been used in crosses resulting in a number of
cultivars, including cv. Alice; cv. Bertha (of R. rugosa x R. macounii parentage); cv. Mary L. Evans
(R. macounii x 'Hansa'); cv. Moose Range ('Hansa' x 'Mary L. Evans'); and cv. Ruth ('Mary L.
Evans' x 'Alika') which is very hardy.
Among the cultivars of Rosa canina are cv. Abbotswood with double pink flowers; cv. Andersonii
with large single pink flowers; and cv. Kiese with semi-double bright red flowers.
Rosa rubiginosa has given rise to several hundred forms, most of which are no longer in
cultivation. This species is perhaps most famous as one of the parents of the Penzance Sweet Briers
developed by Lord Penzance in the 1890's. He released 16 of these cultivars on to the market and
several of them are still available. They include cv. Amy Robsart; cv. Flora Mclvor; cv. Lady
Penzance (R. x penzanceana Rehder, R. rubiginosa x R. foetida 'Bicolor'); cv. Lord Penzance (R.
rubiginosa x 'Harison's Yellow'); and cv. Anne of Geierstein. Other cultivars of this species include
cv. Hebe's Lip; cv. Janet's Pride; cv. Magnifica with semidouble fragrant carmine flowers; cv. Fritz
Nobis ('Joanna Hill x 'Magnifica'); cv. Gold Bush ('Golden Glow' x 'Magnifica') with double yellow
flowers; and cv. Rudolph Timm (['Johannes Bottner' x 'Magnifica'] x ['Baby Chateau' x 'Else
Poulson']). Several crosses were made at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa in the 1930's and
1940's using Rosa rubiginosa, and these cultivars include cv. Caribou with profuse white flowers; cv.
Nascapee; cv. Erie; and cv. Ojibway, all of similar parentage and all hardy. There are also several
double forms such as cv. La Belle Distinguee and cv. Mannings Blush.
37 38
The germination of Rosa seeds is notoriously difficult, and there is great diversity of form among
the seedlings because of the high degree of hybridization which occurs. The depth of dormancy, and
therefore the length of time required for germination, varies with the species, and some have been
known to be dormant for 7 years although the average appears to be about 12-15 months. Seeds from
which the seedcoats have been removed will germinate very quickly, therefore various pretreatments
have been tried. Soaking the seeds in concentrated sulphuric acid for varying periods, followed by a
warm and then a cold stratification period has been relatively successful in some species. Scarification
of the seed coat has shortened the germination time in some forms, and is usually done by passing the
achenes and pulp through a mincing machine. The simplest effective method so far known is
stratification, although the germination rate may still be low. Densmore and Zasada (1977) showed
that Rosa acicularis did not usually germinate in nature until the second year after seed maturity.
They obtained the best germination by warm stratification at 25° C for 118 days, followed by cold
stratification at 5°C. Germination began after 92 days, with a germination rate of 60% after 107 days
at 5°C. Rosa nutkana may be stratified for 140 days at 1-5°C followed by 36 days at 21 °C when 63%
germination may be expected. Rosa gymnocarpa should be stratified for 90 days at 1-5°C with 43%
germination occurring after a further 90 days. Rosa canina should be stratified for 60 days at room
temperature, followed by 60 days at 1-5°C with 47% germination occurring after at least another 60
days. Rosa rubiginosa should be stratified for 570 days at 5°C when as little as 24% germination may
be expected.
In general, four methods of germinating the seed may be tried:- a) sow the seed immediately it is
ripe; b) warm stratify at room temperature for 2-3 months and sow late in the fall; c) cold stratify at
1-5°C over the fall and winter, and sow in the spring; and d) store dry in a sealed container at 1-3°C
for 2-4 years and then sow. After treatment the seed should be sown 0.5-2 cm deep (depending on the
size of the seed) in an equal mixture of sand, soil and peat moss.
The best method of separating the achenes from the hips is to macerate the hips in slow running
water, allowing the pulp and empty achenes to float away. If the pressure is too high viable seeds may
also float away. The achenes may then be dried at room temperature for 48 hours before sowing,
stratifying, or storing at 1-3°C.
The easiest method of propagating roses is by semi-ripe or hardwood cuttings. Semi-ripe cuttings
are taken in August and rooted in a standard propagating medium on a mist bench with bottom heat,
or may be planted out in the border or in a frame. Hardwood cuttings, 12-18 cm long, should be
taken in the fall or winter and buried to about 1.25 cm of the top in sawdust or sand in a shady
location outside, in the greenhouse, or in a cold frame. They should be kept moist during this period
of holding over, and may be planted out in the following spring either in the garden or in a frame.
Flexible arching canes will layer easily by bending them over until they touch the soil and then
burying them. Suckers are formed in many types of roses and may be separated from the parents,
although they are usually more prickly.
Budding and grafting during the summer or at mid-winter are techniques which are often used for
propagating special forms in commerce.
Densmore and Zasada (1977) found that Rosa acicularis spread vegetatively over wide areas by
rhizomes, which could resprout after fire or other disturbance had destroyed the aerial parts.
Roses may be transplanted easily, usually bare-rooted, in early spring, although care should be
taken not to damage the deep root system.
Conditions for Cultivation
Rosa species are usually extremely hardy, vigorous, and easy to maintain, much more so than the
hybrid forms commonly grown. They prefer a good heavy loam which is unlikely to dry out in the summer, although they will thrive in most soils except ones which are wet and/or acid. The soil
should have a pH of 5.6-6.5(-7.0), and should be well drained. Roses are generally tolerant of shade,
and prefer at least 5-6 hours of full sun daily. Exposure to morning sun is preferable to afternoon sun
as this allows night-time moisture to dry out quickly, thus reducing the incidence of moisture-induced
leaf diseases. The shrubs should be planted 45-60 cm apart in a hole large enough to spread out the
roots, and should be watered conservatively but deeply because of the deep root system.
An annual dressing of manure or compost with a little balanced fertilizer will help to maintain the
shrub in a healthy condition.
These species are all hardy to at least Zone 4 or 5 (American), although Rosa acicularis is hardy to
Zone 2 (American) or Zone 1 (Canadian) and is ideal for the cold climate of the northern United
States and Canada.
The species require very little attention other than occasional renewal pruning to remove dead or
old wood and branches which are crossing in the centre of the bush or rubbing against other canes.
Always cut back to about 0.6 cm above an outwardly pointing bud. Pruning may be done
immediately after flowering, unless the fall display of hips is desired when the shrub should be pruned
in February. Shortening of the growth in the first year after planting will help to encourage strong
basal growth.
Landscape Value
Roses are one of the most important garden plants, and wild rose bushes make attractive
ornamentals which are not very often seen in gardens, although they were first cultivated in China
about 5,000 years ago. The species are usually vigorous and easy to maintain because they are less
susceptible to insects and diseases. The species and horticultural varieties are not appreciated in
North America as much as they are in Europe, although many of them are of value for certain
distinctive uses in the garden despite the fact that they rarely bloom more than once a year. The
species are suitable for use as specimen shrubs, to provide massed color in hedges or between other *^C)
plantings, or in shrubberies. They are attractive in flower, and many of them also retain the
decorative hips well into the winter. Many are valuable garden ornaments simply because of their
Rosa acicularis is hardy in Zone 1 or 2, and can be used as a climber in the far north of Canada.
Rosa arkansana makes an excellent hardy native rock garden plant, as does R. gymnocarpa, although
the latter is not showy. Rosa nutkana is useful for informal hedges, and the variety hispida is
considered as the most choice of the native species. Rosa rubiginosa and the Sweet Brier hybrids
make good hedges which may be kept low by annual pruning, screens, and will also grow over fences
and trellises. They are also much planted for the sweet-scented foliage and flowers, a fragrance which
is particularly strong on humid days or after rain.
A vailability
The native species are not generally available from nurseries, although some are available from
nurserymen in eastern Canada and in England.
Other Uses
Apart from their use as cut flowers, roses in general have figured prominently in food, medicine,
heraldry, art, literature, and as religious and romantic symbols since before the days of the Romans.
The Brier Rose was said to have sprung from Christ's blood as he wore the Crown of Thorns, and
therefore the rose was important in theology — the Rose Window in a Church, and rosaries (originally
strings of beads made from tightly pressed rose petals which gave out a pleasing fragrance). Dried
roses have even been found in Egyptian tombs. They have been important in many ancient home
remedies, and even in black magic. The Crusaders covered battle wounds with a salve made of red
roses. One 18th century ointment for aches and strains in humans and animals required 4 lbs. of
roses. In 12th century England, a concoction of powdered rose petals and mustard seed was mixed
with the fat of a green woodpecker and then applied to a neighbour's fruit trees to stop them bearing
fruit forever. The Romans hung a rose above the participants in a confidential conversation, hence sub rosa,
'under the rose', meaning sworn to secrecy. This is linked with Cupid's gift of a Rose (the emblem of
Love) to Harpocrates, the God of Silence, as a bribe not to reveal the amours of Venus, his mother.
They also strewed rose petals at banquets, Nero is reputed to have spent the equivalent of $50,000 for
roses at one banquet.
The hips are edible and an excellent source of Vitamin C, containing about 20 times as much as
orange juice. They are used in making jams, jellies, marmalades, and even catchup. The hips are
gathered in the fall, the juices extracted by boiling and then mixed with other fruit juices to drink or
for use in jelllies and syrups. The pulp is removed from the seeds and skins to make jams,
marmalades and catchups. The flavor is often improved by combining with a tart fruit or juice such
as Cranberry (Vaccinium spp.) or High Bush Cranberry (Viburnum edule). Queen Victoria is reputed
to have enjoyed a sauce made of Sweet Briar hips and lemon juice with mutton. Rose buds can be
pickled with white vinegar and sugar and eaten with cold meats.
Among the other uses of Roses are the manufacture of Attar (or Otto) of Roses — one of the
world's most valuable and expensive oils which is the base of most perfumes; Rose Water for the
complexion; Rose Wine which has a delicate flavor; and Ointment of Roses, Rose Cold Cream, Rose
Pomatum (for baldness), and Rose-scented soaps and snuff. Potpourri was much used in 19th
century homes and is a fermented concoction of flowers including roses, herbs and spices. Rose petals
have been used as scented smoke filters for cigarettes, but proved too expensive.
Rosa rubiginosa is grown in some parts of the world for use in the flavoring of food, and the leaves
are used as a tea substitute. Rosa canina is in great demand as rootstocks for grafting modern hybrids
because it is deep-rooted, robust, and hardy. Rosa nutkana also provides sturdy and compatible root-
stocks for budding, and it has been suggested that this species should be used instead of R. canina in
North America because it is more hardy.
40 The wood requires no staining and is easily worked, and heavy old roses often grow large enough
for use by the hobbyist. Various species of briers have been used for the manufacture of pipe bowls,
and as inlays in very intricate and beautiful woodwork. The stumps of old roses can be used for such
things as lamp bases, vases and ornaments.
Most Rosa species provide food and cover for wildlife. At least 24 species of birds and mammals in
North America eat the hips, they are seldom preferred foods but they are available through the
winter, and about 13 species of mammals browse on the stems, twigs and foliage. Rose thickets
provide excellent nesting or escape cover for many kinds of birds and small mammals. The roses are
also important in soil conservation, watershed and environmental forestry uses, and the thicket-
forming species may help to control erosion in such areas.
The Indians used the rose in several ways for food, medicine, and in mythology. Many tribes ate
the hips, although the Southern Kwakiutl believed that they would get an "itchy bottom" and so
refrained. The sprouts and roots of Rosa nutkana were boiled and the decoction used to make an
eyewash, or drunk (sometimes as much as 10 cupfuls a day) as a purgative for a pain in the stomach.
In western Washington, a tea made from the bark of this species was given to Chehalis women in
childbirth to ease labor pains, while the Cowlitz Indians bathed a new baby in the water in which
leaves had been boiled to make him strong. Haida women ate the young shoots in spring as a tonic
and beauty aid, along with Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium). The Sikani Indians crushed the
roots, steeped them in water, and then used the decoction as an eyewash. Several tribes boiled the
leaves or peeled twigs of Rosa nutkana and R. gymnocarpa and used it as a tea. The Quinault Indians
of Washington burned twigs of Rosa nutkana, mixed the ashes with skunk oil, and applied the ointment to syphilis sores.
Rosa gymnocarpa was used in several ways by the Thompson Indians of British Columbia. The
stems were boiled and the decoction drunk for general indisposition and as a tonic. The hips were occasionally eaten but were usually strung and used as beads by the children. The leaves and bark
were dried, toasted, and powdered and then used as a drink or, occasionally, smoked as a tobacco
substitute. The wood was used for making arrows, the hoops of baby carriers, and also for handles.
Rosa pisocarpa was used in similar ways to the above by the Indians of western Washington,
although they also used a liquid made by steeping the bark as a soothing drink after childbirth.
The Lillooet Indians of British Columbia placed prickly branches of Rosa acicularis at the bottom
of the bed as a protection against bad spirits. The Thompson Indians considered the twigs and
branches of Rosa gymnocarpa to have magical purifying properties. The twigs were placed in the
beds of widows and widowers during the period of widowhood, and the larger branches were used to
sweep evil influences out of graves before burial.
Diseases and Problems of Cultivation
The species are somewhat less susceptible to insect and disease problems and are much hardier than
the hybrids which are generally grown. A large part of the control of the diseases which do occur is
the maintaining of the plants in a healthy condition.
Winter damage in very cold areas may occur if warm periods are followed by sudden drops in
The principal insect pests are aphids, spider mites, and thrips, and may be controlled by spraying as
soon as they appear.
Toms (1964) reports that three types of Rust and one Canker occur naturally on the species in
British Columbia. Phragmidium rosae-californicae (on Rosa gymnocarpa, R. nutkana and R.
pisocarpa), P. fusiforme (on R. nutkana), and P. montivagum (on R. pisocarpa) have been found to
cause Rust on the Coast and in the Interior of the Province. Coryneopsis microsticta, Canker, has
been found on Rosa nutkana on southern Vancouver Island.
Mildew, caused by the widespread fungus Sphaerothecapannosa var. rosae, is a perpetual problem
on the Coast, with defoliation and loss of flowering occurring as well as weakening of the plants. At
the Botanical Gardens we now apply a 10 minute misting to all our species roses every morning. This
has been proven to almost eliminate Mildew as the spores cannot live in free water. However, the
plants must dry quickly for this technique to be effective. The second serious disease in this area is
Blackspot, caused by the fungus Diplocarpon rosae, which is spread by heavy overhead watering and
Origin of the Name
The generic name Rosa is the ancient Latin name for the rose, from roseus, 'rosy' or 'pink'. It also
may possibly be derived from the Celtic rhod, 'red', or the Greek rhodon, 'a rose tree'. The specific
name acicularis means 'needlelike', referring to the needle-like prickles while the subspecific sayi
commemorates Thomas Say (1787-1834), an entomologist who first collected the plant. The specific
name arkansana means 'Arkansas' for the Arkansas River, Colorado where it was first collected;
gymnocarpa means 'bearing naked fruit' because the hips are bare at maturity. The specific name
nutkana means 'from Nootka Sound' where it was first discovered, while the varietal name hispida
means 'bristly'. The specific name pisocarpa means 'with pea-like fruit'; woodsii commemorates
Joseph Woods (1776-1864), an English botanist and specialist on roses; and the subspecific ultramontana means 'beyond the mountains', possibly beyond the Rocky Mountains. The specific name
canina is from the Latin meaning 'pertaining to dogs', and is applied metaphorically to inferior kinds
as 'of little value', such as a scentless versus a scented species. The specific epithet rubiginosa means
Type Localities
Rosa acicularis subsp. sayi was collected at the "mouth of the St. Peter [Minnesota] River,
Minnesota" while the species was first described from "cultivated specimens from material originally
collected in Siberia". The species was first introduced into cultivation in Great Britain in 1805, and
41 42
the subspecies in 1891. It is the Floral Emblem of Alberta. Rosa arkansana was collected on the
"banks of the Arkansas River near Canon City, Colorado" by T. S. Brandegee. It was first
introduced into cultivation in 1917. Rosa gymnocarpa was collected in "Oregon, in shady woods" by
Thomas Nuttall, and was introduced into cultivation in 1893. Rosa nutkana was collected at
"Nootka Sound, British Columbia" by Thaddeus Haenke (1761-1817) in 1791 during the Malaspina
expedition, and was introduced into cultivation about 1876. Rosa pisocarpa was collected in
"Multnomah County, Oregon" by Elihu Hall, and was introduced into cultivation about 1882. Rosa
woodsii was described from cultivated specimens thought to have come from near the Missouri River,
and is known to have been in cultivation about 1880, although the subsp. woodsii was introduced
before 1826 as R. macounii. The subsp. ultramontana was collected (as R. californica var. ultramontana) in "Utah and Nevada" by Sereno Watson (although the type locality may also be cited as
"on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, California"). The type locality of Rosa canina is
"Europe" and it is one of the earliest known roses, being known since the latter part of the sixteenth
century. The type locality of Rosa rubiginosa is "Habitat in Europa australi". The common name
'Sweet Briar' is derived from the sweet fragrance of the plant coupled with its thorny habit of growth.
This is the 'Eglantine' of Chaucer and Shakespeare. The species (as R. eglanteria) was cultivated
prior to 1551, and is credited with unusual longevity as specimens are still found growing in the long
deserted gardens of ruined castles.
The name of the Island of Rhodes (or Rhodos) is believed to be because of the large number of
roses growing there.
Fossil roses found in rock formations in Colorado and Oregon prove that wild roses date back at
least 40 million years in North America. They are believed to have originated in central Asia about 60
million years ago, and then to have spread from there over the whole Northern Hemisphere.
The oldest known living rose tree, a form of Rosa canina, is at Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany,
and is said to be over 1,000 years old.
Since 1461 and the Wars of the Roses, the Rose has been the National Emblem of England. The
conventional heraldic rose is an exact reproduction of Rosa canina. In the latter part of the 15th
century the rose was the mark distinctive of the seventh son of the family.
Clark, L. J. 1973. Wild Flowers of British Columbia. Gray's Publishing Ltd., Sydney, B.C.
Densmore, R. and J.C. Zasada. 1977. Germination requirements of Alaskan Rosa acicularis. Canad. Field-Naturalist 91:58-62.
Edwards, G. 1975. Wild and Old Garden Roses. Hafner Press, New York.
Fillmore, R. A. 1959. Roses for Canadian Gardens. The Ryerson Press, Toronto.
Garman, E. H. 1973. 5th rev. ed. Pocket Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of British Columbia. Handbook No. 31. B.C.
Provincial Museum, Victoria, B.C.
Gault, S.M. 1973. Roses. Wisley Handbook No. 10. The Royal Horticultural Society, London.
Hillier's Manual of Trees and Shrubs. 1971. Hillier and Sons, Winchester, England.
Hitchcock, C. L. et al. 1961. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Part 3. Saxifragaceae to Ericaceae. University of
Washington Press, Seattle.
Sherk, L. A. and A. R. Buckley. 1968. Ornamental Shrubs for Canada. Research Branch, Canada Department of Agriculture,
Publication 1286. Queen's Printer, Ottawa.
Smith, A. W. 1972. A Gardener's Dictionary of Plant Names. (Revised and enlarged by W. T. Stearn). Cassell & Co., Ltd.,
London. Taylor, R. L. and B. MacBryde. 1977. Vascular Plants of British Columbia: A descriptive resource inventory. Technical
Bulletin No. 4. The Botanical Gardens of the University of British Columbia. University of British Columbia Press,
Vancouver, B.C.
Taylor, T. M. C. 1973. The Rose Family (Rosaceae) of British Columbia. Handbook No. 30. B.C. Provincial Museum,
Victoria, B.C.
Thomas, G. S. 1962. Shrub Roses of Today. Phoenix House Ltd., London.
Toms, H. N. W. 1964. Plant Diseases of Southern British Columbia. A Host Index. Reprinted from: Canadian Plant Disease
Survey 44:143-225. Canada Department of Agriculture, Ottawa.
Trelease, W. 1931. 3rd ed. Winter Botany. Republication in 1967 by Dover Publications Inc., New York.
Turner, N. J. 1973. The Ethnobotany of the Bella Coola Indians of British Columbia. Syesis. 6:193-220.
U.S.D.A., Forest Service. 1974. Seeds of Woody Plants in the United States. U.S.D.A., Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook
No. 450.
Viereck, L. A. and E. S. Little, Jr. 1972. Alaska Trees and Shrubs. U.S.D.A., Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 410.
Botanical Garden News and Notes
New Programs for the Fall — A number of programs and workshops are being offered by The Botanical
Garden in cooperation with the Centre for Continuing Education: Fruit Tree Pruning, The Home Greenhouse
and Advanced Home Greenhouse by Ken Wilson; How to Turn on Your Bulbs: Planting for Christmas and
Spring, Workshop on the Care of Houseplants, Planning a Patio or Balcony Garden and Christmas Decorations
by David Tarrant; and Color YourFallwith Trees and Shrubs by Peter Wharton. In addition several educational
travel programs are planned for late 1978 and 1979: Botany in Borneo, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand;
Horticultural Tour to the Hawaiian Islands; Horticultural Tour: England and Corfu; Gulf and San Juan
Islands: A Field Study Cruise; and Queen Charlotte Islands: A Field Study Cruise. Additional information
about any of these programs can be obtained from The Botanical Garden or the Centre for Continuing Education at UBC.
FIGURE 17. Dr. William T. Stearn dedicates the B.C. Native Garden to the memory of Professor John
Davidson during the Dedication Ceremonies on April 24th. The other participants are (left to right): Mr.
Donovan F. Miller, Chancellor of the University of British Columbia; Dr. Douglas T. Kenny, President of the
University; and Dr. Michael Shaw, Vice-President for Academic Development. 44
Other special programs in the field of hortitherapy will be provided for various handicapped groups during the
fall and spring.
New Technical Bulletin — The proceedings of the 'Horticulture as Therapy' symposium and workshop held in
March are now available for the price of $3.00 plus postage from The Botanical Garden. A complete list of
publications by the Garden is available on request.
Student Plant Sale — The dates of September 13, 14 and 15 have been set for the Student Plant Sale by the
Friends of the Garden. The sale will feature indoor plants suitable for student residences and apartments. Advice
on the care and maintenance of the plants will be given by David Tarrant, Margaret Coxon and Gerald Straley.
Any profits that accrue from the sale will be used to provide additions to the reference library for the FOG
program and to help defray the costs of publications of FOG projects, such as the guide to Nitobe Garden.
New Program Development — The Botanical Garden was allocated one million dollars from the Labour
Intensive Special Projects Fund for use in garden development. Projected programs are: completion of a new
nursery propagation unit and winter storage facility; completion of sub-grade and garden component construction in the Main Garden, including the Economic Garden, Evolutionary Garden, Hybrid Garden, and
Landscape Garden of Canadian Native Plants; development of the 30-acre Asian Garden will be continued and
expanded; and a new public service facility, known as Phase III of the Main Garden building, will be initiated in
the fall. The underpass between the Asian Garden and the Main Garden will be completed in conjunction with
the proposed extension of Southwest Marine Drive. Some renovations to the existing Horticulture Workshop at
the Office will be completed, and extensive upgrading and completion of landscape elements at the Museum of
Anthropology and at the Anthropology and Sociology Building will be undertaken. Particular emphasis will be
directed toward the establishment of ethnobotanical collections around the outdoor Museum exhibition areas.
Pacific Naitonal Exhibition — The Botanical Garden will again participate as part of The University of British
Columbia's exhibit program at the area's major agricultural exhibition in late August and September. Various
members of staff will give demonstrations and provide an answering service to enquiries from visitors to the fair.
Summer Activities — These will include participation in Senior Citizens gardening programs, and the
development of a series of four-week training programs for extended care patients at the newly opened Harry V.
Purdy Hospital on Campus. The latter program utilizes the new octagonal Hortitherapy Greenhouse at the
Botanical Garden Office.
Climatological Summary4
Data                                                              1978
Average maximum temperature
Average minimum temperature
Highest maximum temperature
Lowest minimum temperature
Lowest grass minimum temperature
Rainfall/no. days with rain
101.7 mm/19
100.8 mm/13
26.6 mm/9
Total rainfall since January 1, 1978
376.5 mm
477.3 mm
503.9 mm
Snowfall/no. days with snowfall
Total snowfall since October 1, 1977
41.1 cm
41.1 cm
41.1 cm
Hours bright sunshine/possible
Ave. daily sunshine/no. days total overcast
*Site: The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T1W5
Position: lat. 49° 15'29"N; long. 123° 14' 58" W. Elevation: 104.4m Delphinium nuttallianum, the Upland
Delphinium, a member of the Family
Ranunculaceae which is common in the
interior of British Columbia.
Botanical Garden Staff
Dr. Roy L. Taylor
Supervisor of Operations
Mr. Kenneth Wilson
Research Scientist (Cytogenetics)
Dr. Christopher J. Marchant
Research Scientist (Horticulture)
Dr. John W. Neill
Research Technicians
Mrs. Annie Y. M. Cheng
Mrs. Sylvia Taylor
Secretaries to the Office
Mrs. Lorna Anderson
Mrs. Pam Robin
Plant Accession System
Mrs. Marie Shaflik
Miss Margaret E. Coxon
Mr. David A. Tarrant
(Educational Coordinator)
Mr. A. James MacPhail (Alpine Garden)
Mr. Gordon J. Ramsdale (Nursery)
Mr. Peter A. Wharton (Marine Drive Garden)
Mr. Pierre Rykuiter, Head Gardener
(Area Manager, South Campus)
Mr. Helmut Koblischke
(Area Manager, Upper Campus)
Mr. Harold Duffill
Mr. Leonard Gibbs
Mr. Robert E. Kantymir
Mr. Murray J. Kereluk
Mr. Paul Kupec
Mrs. Bodil Leamy
Mrs. Elaine V. Le Marquand
Mr. Sam M. Oyama
Mr. Ronald S. Rollo
Mr. Allan A. Rose
Mr. Colin Varner
Mr. Isao Watanabe
Mr. Thomas R. Wheeler
Research Associate
Dr. L. Keith Wade
Special Summer Student Program
Miss Veronica Anthony
Miss Sarah Curtis
Mr. Alex M. Downie
Mr. Pat Mooney
Miss Susan Munro
Mr. David Sze Rumex acetosella, Sheep Sorrel,
a member of the Family Polygonaceae
Volume 9
Number 2
Summer 1978
Macro fungi in The Botanical Garden   21
The Genus Rosa in British Columbia   30
Botanical Garden News and Notes   43
Climatology   44


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