Nature table: The Dog Rose

Dog roses flower in June, July, and August, brightening up our hedgerows with their blossom, which is normally pale pink but sometimes white or deep pink and has a subtle fragrance.

Unfortunately in an Irish summer the flowers are often stripped off by heavy rain and high winds.

Dog rose is the commonest English name for the wild hedgerow rose but the scientific classification is a complex matter, debated by experts, with many named micro-species and hybrids.

Other countryside roses include the burnet rose, a small, compact plant with little white flowers, larger purple fruits and stems densely covered in straight spines that is commonly found in coastal areas and on limestone pavement.

Rosa rugosa is a Japanese species with flowers that are normally mauve that has been extensively planted by county councils along roads.

The dog rose has long, arching stems sparsely covered with curved spines with which it sometimes claws itself up trees to a considerable height.

The red hips, produced in autumn, are rich in vitamin C.


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