1. Family: Rosaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Rosa L.
      1. Rosa graciliflora Rehder & E.H.Wilson

        Rosa graciliflora is one of 65 Rosa species that are restricted to China. This pink- or red-flowered rose blooms from July to August and fruits are produced from September to October. R. graciliflora belongs to Rosa section Pimpinellifolia, a group represented in Britain by the burnet rose (Rosa spinosissima), a common rose found near the sea and characterised by its black fruits.

    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description
    Rosa graciliflora is a pink- or red-flowered wild rose that is native to China. The solitary flower has a characteristic long and slender pedicel (stalk).

    Rosa graciliflora is one of 65 Rosa species that are restricted to China. This pink- or red-flowered rose blooms from July to August and fruits are produced from September to October. R. graciliflora belongs to Rosa section Pimpinellifolia, a group represented in Britain by the burnet rose (Rosa spinosissima), a common rose found near the sea and characterised by its black fruits.

    Wild or 'species' roses differ from the cultivated roses we are familiar with, in that their flowers mostly have 'single' flowers with five petals rather than 'double' ones with many petals . Only a a small number of these wild roses are the source of the thousands of cultivars that are enjoyed around the world today; however the slender stalked rose is not one of those parent species. 

    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Native to China (Sichuan, Xizang (Tibet), Yunnan), where it has been found between 3,300 and 4,500 m.

    Description

    Overview: A small, erect shrub with slender branchlets, growing up to 4 m tall. The sparse, fine prickles are up to 1 cm long and flare abruptly into a broad base.

    Leaves: The leaves are 5-8 cm long and bear stipules (leaf-like appendages) that are fused with the petiole (leaf stalk). Each leaf is formed of 9-11 leaflets with toothed margins.

    Flowers: The flowers are solitary, 2.5-3.5 cm in diameter, and have five entire (undivided), leaf-like sepals and five pink or deep red petals. The flowers have a spicy scent.

    Fruits:  The fruit is a red hip of 2-3 cm with persistent erect sepals. Hips are the characteristic fruit of the genus Rosa , scientifically called a pometum, and consist of a swollen hypanthium closed at the mouth and containing free achenes with their styles and stigmas protruding.

    Hips are the characteristic fruit of the genus Rosa .

    Roses and Valentine's Day traditions

    Rose cultivation began in ancient Babylonia and Assyria and was passed on through later civilisations to Europe. Roses were grown for their beauty and scent, to infuse rose-water and rose-oil, and later for medicinal and horticultural purposes.

    Although Saint Valentine's Day has been celebrated in some form since 500 AD, and roses have been identified with love since the ancient Greeks and Romans, it was not until the second half of the 20th Century that the giving of gifts such as roses on 14 February became common practice.

    The traditional Valentine's verse 'Roses are red' can be traced back to:

    She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew,And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

    The Faerie Queene (1590) - Edmund Spenser

    The rose is red, the violet's blueThe honey's sweet, and so are youThou are my love and I am thineI drew thee to my ValentineThe lot was cast and then I drewAnd Fortune said it shou'd be you.

    Gammer Gurton's Garland (1784)

    Uses

    Rosa graciliflora is one of more than 1,000 plant species collected in China at the beginning of the 20th Century by Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson (1876-1930). 

    It is occasionally planted as an ornamental shrub, and has been grown at Kew from seeds collected in Sichuan by Tony Kirkham, Kew's Arboretum Manager.

    Cultivation

    April sees the first foliage feed application, containing a high potassium content to increase flower production. At the same time, a programme of pesticide and fungicide spraying is started and performed throughout the growing season whenever pests and diseases begin to show, such as black spot, mildew, aphids and thrips.

    In March, the roses cultivated at Kew are pruned back into a framework with all the old, dead, diseased and damaged wood removed. A granular fertiliser is then applied to the rose beds to help to promote healthy new growth after pruning. The beds are mulched at this time of year, using farmyard manure, doubling up as mulch and fertiliser.

    At the end of autumn the roses are cut back by approximately one-third to reduce wind rock. 

    This species at Kew

    Rosa graciliflora is grown in the area between the Palm House and Victoria Gate, and between the Temple of Aeolus and Museum No. 1. It is also grown in the behind-the-scenes Arboretum Nursery.

    Distribution
    China
    Ecology
    Spruce (Picea) forests, in scrub at forest margins and on slopes.
    Conservation
    Not evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.
    Hazards

    None known.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    China South-Central, Tibet

    Common Names

    English
    Slender stalked rose

    Rosa graciliflora Rehder & E.H.Wilson appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Wilson, E. H. [3583], China K000730775
    Wilson, E. H. [3583], China K000730776
    Wilson, E. H. [3583], China K000730777

    First published in C.S.Sargent, Pl. Wilson. 2: 330 (1915)

    Accepted by

    • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2003). Flora of China 9: 1-494. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).

    Literature

    Kew Species Profiles
    • Garden Plant Conservation (2011). Ernest Wilson Woody Plants (Q to R).
    • Gu, C. et al (2010). Rosa graciliflora. Flora of China.
    • Stork, A.L. (2002). De l'eglantine a la Rose - Serie Documentaire des Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Geneve 35. Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Geneve, Geneva.
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Wu, Z. & Raven, P.H. (eds.) (2003). Flora of China 9: 1-494. Science Press (Beijing) & Missouri Botanical Garden Press (St. Louis).

    Sources

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0