Stems: densely prickly. Leaves: pinnate; leaflets large, five to seven, oval-lanceolate, coarsely toothed. Flowers: solitary; petals pink, broadly obovate; sepals entire, acuminate, persistent and erect upon the fruit. Fruit: globose, glabrous.
The bush on which this Rose grows is about three feet high and bears lovely, fragrant, pale pink flowers. The leaves are large and very dark green, and the stems are covered with many tiny, fine, straight prickles. All the wild Roses display a preference for the number five, having five petals and five sepals.
No flower in the world has been so famous in poetry and song as the Rose. Its beauty and fragrance have won for it an honoured place in the annals of history, in classic lore, and in the glowing pages of romance.
"Was ever blossom lovelier than the rose?"
Surely not. Nor can we agree with Juliet when she says; "That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."
For to us the Rose symbolizes those things which are tender and exquisite in life, and the sweet wild dweller in the forest is the fairest flower of them all.
"If June were mine, I'd weave for you - Of roses red and skies of blue,
Of golden sun and orchard sheen,
Of blossom-fretted damascene - A veil of every petal-blue.
" And from the morning mists of dew Distil a fairy stream, that through The woods should wend a way serene, If June were mine.
" And, ere the purple dusk anew The curtains of the sunset drew, Adown the river's dream demesne, I'd paint a path incarnadine, And drift into the dawn* with you, If June were mine."
Rosa Macounii, or Macoun's Rose, is another species which grows among the mountains. Note that it has small leaves, and that on its stems grow a few large, widely separated, hooked thorns. Otherwise it resembles R. acicularis, and the flowers of the two bushes are almost identically alike. When " The last rose of summer, Left blooming alone," hangs on the bush surrounded by the fallen petals of her companions, then " Scarlet berries tell where bloomed the sweet wild rose," and Nature spreads a feast of ripe red fruit for the birds of the air,
I cannot refrain from closing this brief mention of the Rose with a quotation from a poem by Isabella Valancy Crawford, the sweetest singer of songs Canada ever knew: "The rose was given to Man for this: He, sudden seeing it in later years, Should swift remember Love's first lingering kiss, And Grief's last lingering tears.
"Or, being blind, should feel its yearning soul Knit all its piercing perfume round his own, Till he should see on Memory's ample scroll All roses he had known."
Rosa gymnocarpa, or Tiny Rose, has rather weak stems with straight, slender, scattered spines on a prickly rachis, and five to nine toothed leaflets. The pale pink flowers are very tiny and sweet-smelling, and the fruit is oblong and smooth.