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Rosa L.: rose, briarAuthor(s): Susan E. Meyer
Source: In: Bonner, Franklin T.; Karrfalt, Robert P., eds. The Woody Plant Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook No. 727. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. p. 974-980.
Publication Series: Agricultural Handbook
Station: Washington Office
PDF: View PDF (281.0 KB)
DescriptionThe genus Rosa is found primarily in the North Temperate Zone and includes about 200 species, with perhaps 20 that are native to the United States (table 1). Another 12 to 15 rose species have been introduced for horticultural purposes and are naturalized to varying degrees. The nomenclature of the genus is in a state of flux, making it difficult to number the species with precision. The roses are erect, clambering, or climbing shrubs with alternate, stipulate, pinnately compound leaves that have serrate leaflets. The plants are usually armed with prickles or thorns. Many species are capable of clonal growth from underground rootstocks and tend to form thickets. Usually found in the more moist but sunny parts of the landscape, wild roses provide valuable cover and food for wildlife, especially the birds and mammals that eat their hips and act as seed dispersers (Gill and Pogge 1974). Wild roses are also utilized as browse by many wild and domestic ungulates. Rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C and may also be consumed by humans (Densmore and Zasada 1977). Rose oil extracted from the fragrant petals is an important constituent of perfume. The principal use of roses has clearly been in ornamental horticulture, and most of the species treated here have been in cultivation for many years (Gill and Pogge 1974).
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CitationMeyer, Susan E. 2008. Rosa L.: rose, briar. In: Bonner, Franklin T.; Karrfalt, Robert P., eds. The Woody Plant Seed Manual. Agric. Handbook No. 727. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. p. 974-980.
KeywordsRosa L., rose, briar
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