Species or near species ID

This is a strange thing to post here… but I there are loads of species rose specialists here so I figure it’s worth a shot.

I have a rose that I thought was R. multiflora that I found as two very neglected sticks in the back of a nursery… discarded. I took them home and planted them in the ground and they took off and foliage developed into this lovely wrinkled, almost rugosa-like, pattern. It is evergreen here in Australia (Tasmania - zone 9B). The foliage is fragrant (very strong smell that reminds me of pine needles and leaves my hands feeling sticky from the oils) and the flowers have an intense fruity perfume. It is thornless except for some tiny hooks on the leaf clasp that could hardly be described as thorns. Growth is fairly long and lax. Here are some photos I took today.

Foliage: http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s208/Simonauv/Garden/unknown%20roses/multiflora5.jpg

Flower (2-3cm across): http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s208/Simonauv/Garden/unknown%20roses/multiflora4.jpg

Buds (tiny… you can see an aphid on one for scale): http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s208/Simonauv/Garden/unknown%20roses/multiflora7.jpg

New growth (gets a nice red covering of fine hairs): http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s208/Simonauv/Garden/unknown%20roses/multiflora3.jpg

I still think it might be a multiflora variety. What do people think?

It does remind me of multifora perhaps with some rugosa thrown in?

It’s very beautiful whatever it is.

I agree with you, Simon - I think it’s just a variant of multiflora; the Flora of China describes the parts as being either glandular or not, and yours looks distinctly glandular. Textured leaves are somewhat regularly found in that species, too. Yours is a lovely form, though, and you take amazing pictures!

It looks like multiflora to me. The thornlessness is a bonus.


I’m not so sure it’s multiflora. It has the look of a spray of moschata.

I do agree with Stephan, great pictures. It’s very difficult to get the illumination balanced like that.

What kind of photos would I need to take to get a definitive answer because the flowers do look a bit like the moschata on HMF but also a lot like the flowers of multiflora on HMF… at first I was hoping it was sempervirens… but don’t think it is now.

You’ll never know for certain from photos. The best you could do is find out what that nursery ordered and where they ordered it from, then whittle it down from that list.

The flowers look like a pretty typical multiflora panicle to me - moschata is a different arrangement to my eyes, with the secondary buds and clusters elongating until the whole structure becomes more of a rounded cyme than an elongated panicle. Take another picture a little farther back when the flowers are open, and the difference should be even more clear.

Multiflora is a very widespraid sp in China and quite varied also. Fringed stipules are the discriminating character for multiflora… and multiflora derived roses. Stipules are small foliaceous appendages paired at base of petiole.

A clear photo of a stipule would be useful.

How’s this?

I find these two photographs fascinating. I guess this is what you meant by ‘glandular’! No wonder the foliage has such a strong fragrance.

With some leaf too… further up the leaflet.


What lens did you use for the close-ups?

Hi Don,

I have a Sigma f2.8 105mm Macro (1:1) lens that I use for close-up work with my canon dSLR. These are almost uncropped.

Definitely multiflora… or multiflora derived.

Since posting here I’ve found a link on HMF that looks like it (see below). Since there are so many different forms of multiflora how would I go about finding out more about this particular ‘strain’? Is it more correctly classified as a subspecies of multiflora? I did ask the nursery about it last year and they said it came from a rose whose pot was sitting on the ground and from which these grew out through the drainage holes into the ground… so it’s an understock of something. I haven’t done any searching on this yet but will latter tonight when I get home from work.

Link: helpmefind.com/plant/pl.php?n=10805&tab=1

The stipules look multiflora, but I’m with Robert, the first thing I saw was the rugose leaves and in that first picture, I can hardly see past that texture because I haven’t seen it on such thin leaves.

On multiflora, the anthers should brown in a day. So that sprays never look fresh, only a few blooms of many will look the same freshness at one time. The petals don’t quite have the texture for moschata. I see moschata as a cleaner, slightly more robust white and a bit larger.

One other difference between multiflora and moschata:

As multiflora blooms, when half the blooms on a bush are through, the bush starts pushing out long lax canes for next year, so that by the end of bloom, the blooms are mostly hidden by the new growth. Moschata bears its first bloom on tall canes and new growth emerges from within the sprays.

There’s a dutch publication on rose root stocks. Their pages on multiflora have a black and white photo of a leaf of their multiflora and it is the spitting image of yours, down to the ?rugosity? of the leaves. And the stipules are a match as well.

(Rootstocks for Roses by Plant Publicity Holland, author J.A.Leemans, for Plant Propaganda Holland, Roskoop.)

Weelll, there is something vaguely familiar about the look of this rose, so I’ve been scanning my species shots from Quarry Hill, Kew, Hortus Botanicus and de l’Hay. Nothing is quite right to my eye for R. multiflora - - not regular enough fringes on the lacineated stipule, too glandular everywhere, too rugose. Any one of those features varying away from what we recognize as R. multiflora is fine…but all three at once?

But then I ran into a few shots of R. multiflora var. adenochaeta from both Quarry Hill and de l’Hay. I think they are close enough to be a potential match. First, a growing tip from de l’Hay:

Then there are the buds very early in April at Quarry Hill:

The fact your plant has white blooms and the one at de l’Hay are light pink doesn’t bother me, nor does the difference in leaf shininess.

The stipules match fairly well:

Do you have a leaflet count? This variety of multiflora has leaves with many leaflets. Here’s a brief account from Japan:


Link: www.helpmefind.com/rose/pl.php?n=38068&tab=1

I think we are getting closer but still not quite there yet. The leaflet count on my one is very regular. The majority of leaves have 7 leaflets. A small number have 7 plus two small ones at the stipule end that point backwards. I’m not so sure I could discount the white colour, the difference in sheen, or the bullate surface.

This is a photo of the whole plant. This is one year’s growth from a 30cm long twig about half as thick as a pencil. Eventually it will end up looking like the one your pics Cass.