Friday, 9 March 2007

The Scots Rose. (2)

Rosa Pimpinellifolia has double-headed pink flowers, two inches across, and borne in such profusion on the shrub that it greets you with a halo of perfume when you are standing near it. The flowers have mossy flower stalks and calyxes, greyish-green pinnate leaves, resembling those of the Sanguisorba Burnet plant, and globular flowers which have a fruity perfume.

Though the more common species of the moss roses are white in colour, ours bear exquisite, double-headed, blush-coloured flowers, with a heady perfume that acts like a magnet to pollinating insects. In Autumn it has attractive little black fruits which are rich in vitamins A, C and E, and a good source of essential fatty acids, which is unusual for a fruit.

Thriving happily as it does in our sandy soil in full sun, we now have several specimens dotted around the garden. As a result of propagation from its suckers, I, too, have been able to pass on cuttings to my friends, just as my dear friend once shared one of hers with me. Though she passed away a few years ago now, each time I smell its sweet perfume I think of her.


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