Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rosa primula: the first rose to bloom in China Valley this year

There are buds on quite a few roses already, but this is the first one to actually flower; Donald Wyman observes, in the 1986 edition of Wyman's Gardening Encyclopedia, that it was the first rose to bloom at the Arnold Arboretum among a collection of more than 100 species. Rosa primula is commonly called the Incense Rose because of its fragrant foliage. I don't note a strong fragrance here, but the flowers are pleasantly, though lightly scented. The foliage is attractive and clean (of course it's early!), growth is strong, and there are many buds and many flowers. It's easy to find; it is growing at the top of the bed just a few feet below the road above China Valley.

Honestly this is not a rose I know particularly well; Stefan Lura, who was an ASRT in China Valley before he moved to the position of Botanist in the Plants Records Office, planted a good number of Chinese Roses in the collection. most uncommon, some downright obscure. I can hardly wait to see the rest.

No comments: