This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
Probably most non-botanical ramblers feel able to distinguish at once between the Dog-rose and the Field-rose, and a few may be learned enough to separate either or both from the
Burnet-rose and the Sweet-briar - and they may do it. But the scientific botanist has difficulties, and he is not quite sure where one species leaves off and another begins. Many workers have so split up our six or seven British roses into a vast multitude of species, sub-species, and varieties that it is difficult to follow them. In this work we shall not attempt it.
The Dog-rose is the largest of the British roses. It forms a bush of considerable size, with long arching branches, covered with broad hooks. The leaves are broken up into five leaflets, each of which is sharply toothed. The sepals are five in number, pinnate, and turned back towards the stem when the flower is open. The petals are five, pink and notched.
Stamens many. Styles free, hairy. The ovary is sunk in the calyx, which changes to the pitcher-shaped scarlet fruits - the
"hips" of the schoolboy - in which are the hairy achenes.
Flowers mostly solitary. Generally common in hedges and copses, flowering from June to August.
I. The Field-rose (R. arvensis) is very similar to R. canina, but the flowers are generally in clusters, the petals white. Sepals falling off. In similar places. June and July. Easily distinguished by its trailing habit.
II. The Burnet- or Scotch-rose (G. spinosissima) is a much-branched shrub, with the leaves divided into seven or nine leaflets. Stem crowded with nearly straight prickles, showing every stage in the transition from thorns to stiff bristles and glandular hairs. Petals white or pink. Fruit nearly globular. Heaths and open places chiefly, on sand and chalk, especially near the sea. May and June.
III. Sweet Briar (R. rubiginosa). A small bush with erect or arching branches, set with hooked prickles mixed with glandular hairs and bristles. Leaflets densely glandular and aromatic. Flowers small, pink. Fruit globose. Bushy places, chiefly in South of England. June and July.
Rosa canina. - Rosaceae. -