Garden and Forest 4: 570 (1891)
THE handsome Rose which is figured on page 569 was sent to the Arboretum by Mr. Louis Spath, of Berlin, in 1888 as Rosa bracteata, but when it flowered two years later it was found to be the Rosa Wichuraiana of Crepin,* a native of Japan, and previously confounded with Rosa Luciae of that country, and still earlier with Rosa sempervirens.
Rosa Wichuraiana is remarkable in producing slender prostrate stems, which grow ten to fifteen feet long in a single season, and cover the ground as with a dense mat; they are free of prickles and produce short, stout, straight or slightly recurved spines, and in moist ground develop rootlets freely. The leaves are three to nine-foliolate, with obovate or nearly orbicular blunt leaflets, which are sharply and coarsely serrate, glabrous, very dark green and lustrous, and from a third to two-thirds of an inch long. The stipules are adnate, usually conspicuously toothed, and vary from a third to half an inch in length. The flowers are produced here in great profusion from about the 8th to the end of the month of July, and during the remainder of the season appear irregularly and less abundantly; they are pure white, an inch and a half to two inches across, very fragrant, and are borne in short, broad, pyramidal, terminal, few or many-flowered clusters. The primary bracts are lanceolate, foliaceous, dentate and persistent. The pedicels are stout, an inch long, slightly glandular-hispid, and furnished with lanceolate, denticulate, rather persistent, bractlets. The flower-buds are a third of an inch long, ovoid and abruptly contracted into short points. The sepals are oval, contracted at the apex into rather rigid points, coated with pale pubescence on the inner surface and reflexed at maturity. The petals are broadly obovate, slightly emarginate at the apex, and sometimes rather remotely dentate toward the base. The stamens are bright golden-yellow and very conspicuous; and the column of styles is elongated, rather thick, and pubescent. The fruit is oval or obovate, dull red, and from a third to half an inch long. It matures here late in the season, producing good seed every year.
Rosa Wichuraiana has been used very largely during the last two years by the Park Department of the city of Boston, especially in Franklin Park, for covering rocky slopes, embankments and such spots as it was desirable to clothe quickly with verdure. It appears to be admirably suited for such purposes, and as it grows more rapidly than almost any other vine which has been tried in similar situations, soon making a dense mat over the ground, it seems destined to become a popular plant. Its remarkable habit, its hardiness, the brilliancy of its lustrous foliage, and the beauty of its flowers, which appear when most shrubs are out of bloom, certainly recommend it to the attention of the lovers of hardy plants. C. S. S.
*Bull. Bot. Soc. Roy. Belg., xxv., pt. li, 189; J. G. Jack, Garden and Forest, iv., 44.