'Sweet Briar' rose References
Article (newspaper) (Sep 2008) Page(s) 3.
Patricia Routley: Rubiginosa (syn R. eglanteria). Sweet Briar.
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxslips and nodding violets grow
Quite over canopied with luscious woodbine ,
With sweet musk rose and with eglantine.”
These famous few lines from A Midsummer Night’s Dream are often quoted. On looking closely at the plants in those lines, oxslips = the English Primrose; woodbine = honeysuckle; sweet musk rose = R. arvensis; and eglantine = the English buttercups. How then did the lines get associated with R. rubiginosa or Sweet Briar? I can only suggest the association of perfume and the word eglantine, for R. eglanteria is yet another name for this deliciously simple rose. The ancient Sweet Briar was one of the most treasured of English wild plants from the hedgerows because of the perfume emanating from the leaves when the air is damp. It provided Chaucer, Spencer and Shakespeare (and many lesser men) with poetic inspiration throughout the ages and it inspires this lesser lady as well. I had vaguely read of this rose so when I first came across it, that smell, that so-fresh, apple perfume told me instantly what it was. Rob and I were driving from Northcliffe to Pemberton in 1995 and when I saw something flowering, I screeched “Stop. Stop the car”. After his customary heart-attack that Rob has when I do things like this, and pleading with me to just ask quietly, he stopped the car and I walked back to be enveloped by the perfume of these roadside bushes. I tried cuttings which all later died. So next I tried seeds and they all lived. It is too effective! Every flower seems to set a seed pod and these are dispersed by birds, animals and water. Later I was to find it at the Kin Kin, Pemberton, Balingup, and in creek beds at Bridgetown and Kojonup. This rose loves cool climates and it has become a feral pest in the south island of New Zealand and in most of the southern states of Australia. It is said that R. rubiginosa germinates in the first year, unlike other roses that germinate in the second and need stratification. I planted my seedlings at the side entrance to The Wee Garden and one day, when walking with a visitor and we were yet metres away, she sniffed and exclaimed “Oh, you have Sweet Briar”. That was a satisfying moment and I thought I was so clever. But it is the rose that is clever. That mass of hips it sets have so far, not unleashed a forest of feral briars as I now pick off the beautiful large orange red hips before their time. The Sweet Briar is a simple five petalled pink flower. The bush is quite thorny and will be about six to eight feet high. It is very similar to R. canina. If you come across it, appreciate its historical connections, beware of its seeding propensities, but do stop for a moment and crush those soft and fragrant, new end leaves for one of life’s sensory experiences.
Book (2002) Page(s) 84.
R. eglanteria Species, light pink, single. Rated 8.4
Article (magazine) (2001) Page(s) 393.
R. eglanteria L. Ploidy 5x
Pollen fertility 30.4%
Selfed Fruit set 95.2%
Selfed Seed set 79.9%
Book (2001) Page(s) 444.
Rosa rubiginosa L., Mant. Pl. 2, App. (1771) 564.
Rosa eglanteria L., Sp. Pl. (1753) 491, nom. ambig., non L. (1760); R. suavifolia Lightf., Fl. scot. 1 (1777) 262; R. rubiginosa vulgaris Willd., Enum. Pl. Hort. Berol. (1809) 546; R. walpoleana Greene, Leafl. bot. observ. 2 (1912) 264.
Eglantine, sweet brier; German Weinrose; French rosier rouillé; Italian rosa robiginosa, rosa balsaminina, Spanish eglantina roja; Russian roza eglanterija.
Europe, Asia Minor, Cauvcasus to W Asia; naturalized in North America.
Book (Feb 1999) Page(s) 12-13. Includes photo(s).
Sweetbriar Rose One of Taylor's 50 Best Roses. Description, vital statistics, and care advice... Sweetbriar rose is a familiar sight in the hedgerows of its native England... clusters of petite flowers with five pink petals and flashy yellow stamens...
Website/Catalog (4 Jan 1999) Page(s) 130. Includes photo(s).
Book (Dec 1998) Page(s) 51. Includes photo(s).
Rosa eglanteria (R. rubiginosa, 'Sweet Briar')... The dark green foliage smells strongly of apples, especially when crushed...
Book (Nov 1998) Page(s) 9, 11. Includes photo(s).
Page 9: [Photo] R. eglanteria Mature plants are majestic, showered with pretty pink blossoms, and swathed in tough foliage that smells precisely like green apples...
Page 11: R. eglanteria Blossoms: single, blush pink. Foliage: smells like green apples (concentrated in young tips). Height: to 15 feet. Hips.
Book (Mar 1998) Page(s) 8, 16. Includes photo(s).
Page 8: Rosa rubiginosa ('Sweet Briar') whose crumpled foliage has a scent of green apples, very hardy
Page 16: [Photo] R. rubiginosa ('Eglantine Rose', 'Sweet Briar', 'Rosier Rouillé') Description... one of the most common species roses found growing wild... Flowers: pink... Foliage smells like green apples...
Book (1997) Page(s) 2. Includes photo(s).