Dog-rose is the most abundant and widespread of our wild rose species, and also the most variable. It is an aggregate of similar subspecies and its sweet-scented blooms can vary in colour from white to deep pink. Whilst usually about five metres in height, Dog-rose can scramble to the tops of tall trees like a rainforest vine. Bright red hips form in late summer and these have traditionally been foraged to make rose-hip syrup. Confusion can arise as sometimes eglantine also refers to Rosa rubiginosa.
An old riddle, ‘The Five Brethren of the Rose’, provides an effective way of identifying roses of the canina group:
On a summer’s day, in sultry weather five Brethren were born together. Two had beards and two had none and the other had but half a one.”
Here ‘brethren’ refers to the five sepals of the Dog-rose, two of which are whiskered on both sides, two quite smooth and the last one whiskered on one side only.
Where to find Dog-rose, it prefers growing on the sunny side of hedgerows on a range of soils. It is widespread in England and has scattered distribution throughout Scotland.
Purchase this as a 2 litre potted specimen or as part of a pack of 10, 50 or 100 bare root trees. All bare root specimens will be 2 year old plants, around 60-80cm tall. 60cm spiral guards and 90cm bamboo canes are recommended for each plants to protect from rabbit damage.
Can be planted as individual trees or used to create wildlife friendly hedging.