Harsh Downy-rose

rose hips
Harsh Downy-rose (Rosa tomentosa) Photo: Jo Parmenter

It seems to be a good autumn for rose hips and now is the easiest time of year to spot the more unusual species. The Norfolk Flora Group found Harsh Downy-rose, Rosa tomentosa, in a hedgerow on chalky clay near Longham, in mid Norfolk.  Helpful identification features are a very faint resin smell from the crushed leaves, which are tomentose below; large, globose hips, with a scattering of spiky-looking glandular hairs; persistent sepals which have lateral lobes and long pedicles (above 2cm) which have a dense covering of glandular hairs but no acicles.

Downy rose
Harsh Downy-rose (Rosa tomentosa) Photo: Jo Parmenter

Harsh Downy-rose has a climbing habit and thus is most often found in old hedgerows and woodland margins.  It is fairly uncommon in Norfolk, being most often found on the heavy chalky clays of south Norfolk.

Jo Parmenter