Soft, crimson pink.
Flowers: large; rarely solitary. Calyx: of five cleft sepals that terminate in a tube. Corolla: of five petals, sometimes found with more; in this respect the species is variable. Stamens: numerous. Pistils: numerous. Leaves: pinnate; of three to nine serrate leaflets, unequal in size; pale underneath. Stem: erect; smooth, with recurved prickles; reddish.
"If Jove would give the fragrant bowers A queen for all their world of flowers, A rose would be the choice of Jove And blush the queen of every grove." - Moore.
Pliny tells us that the many species of wild roses may be distinguished from each other by their colour, scent, roughness, smoothness, and the greater or smaller number of their floral leaves. The swamp rose, however, is one that is most readily recognised. It has a somewhat ragged appearance owing to its often unequal number of petals; and it grows in great masses in the swamps. With the approach of autumn it changes the character of, rather than loses, its beauty. The leaves become a brilliant orange-red and the bushes glow with the graceful crimson fruit.
To walk by a swamp spread with these roses, makes us reflect longingly on the days of the ancients; when the warriors, during their repasts, sat crowned with them and when, as Pliny tells us, their choice meats were covered with the petals, or sprinkled with their fragrant oil. The descriptions of the roses at the feast that Cleopatra gave to Antony make us cease to wonder that Venus herself has a rival in the rose.