Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rosa davurica, Amur Rose,

One great thing about the Asian Collections is that there are plants there that you just won't see in other gardens. Well, maybe a garden here or there, but we have a lot of obscure taxa. So I Google them and frequently the hits I get consist of images, threads of discussions in obscure user groups, entries in the Flora of China or the USDA Plants Database, and articles from medical or pharmacological journals. This is one of those plants. It has apparently been used medicinally in China for a long time and is now being investigated by Western scientists. There is some suggestion that it can be of use in halting anaphylactic shock and as a cancer treatment. That sounds exciting but I see those kinds of articles a lot. Maybe something will come of it! We can only hope.

I do know, by my own observation that it is a vigorous, enthusiastic (euphemism) rose that had interestingly red stems in the winter and is covered with fragrant single pink flowers now. Presumably it is fairly hardy since it comes from an area that experiences cold winters. I worry that because it spreads so incredibly quickly it may be a problem to contain, but it is pretty. Its flowering now along the top of China Valley, easily visible from the road.

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