Systylæ

SYSTYLÆ.

(From sun, together, and stulos, a style; in reference to the styles being connected.)

Sect. Char.—Styles cohering together into an elongated column. Stipules adnate. The habit of this section is nearly the same as that of the last. The leaves are frequently persistent.

R. sempervirens Lin.Evergreen Rose.Syn. R. scandens, Mill.; R. Balearica, Desf.; R. atrovirens, Viv.; R. sempervirens globosa, Red.—Evergreen. Shoots climbing. Prickles pretty equal, falcate. Leaves of 5 to 7 leaflets, that are green on both sides, coriaceous. Flowers almost solitary, or in corymbs. Sepals nearly entire, longish. Styles cohering into an elongate pilose column. Fruit ovate or ovate-globose, orange-colored. Peduncles mostly hispid with glanded hairs. Closely allied to R. arvensis, but differing in its being evergreen, in its leaves being coriaceous, and in its stipules being subfalcate, and more acute at the tip. Native of France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and the Balearic Islands. A climbing shrub, flowering from June to August.

Used for the same purposes as the Ayrshire Rose, from which it differs in retaining its leaves the greater part of the winter, and in its less vigorous shoots. This species is well adapted for rose carpets made by pegging down its long, flexile shoots. Its glossy, rich foliage forms, in this way, a beautiful carpet of verdure enameled with flowers.

R. multiflora Thunb.Many-flowered Rose.Syn. R. flava, Donn.; R. florida, Poir.; R. diffusa, Roxb.—Branches, peduncles, and calyxes tomentose. Shoots very long. Prickles slender, scattered. Leaflets 5 to 7, ovate-lanceolate, soft, finely wrinkled. Stipules pectinate. Flowers in corymbs, and, in many instances, very numerous. Buds ovate globose. Sepals short. Styles protruded, incompletely grown together into a long, hairy column. A climbing shrub, a native of Japan and China; and producing a profusion of clustered heads of single, semi-double, or double, white, pale red, or red flowers in June and July.

This is one of the most ornamental of climbing roses; but, to succeed, even in the climate of London, it requires a wall. The flowers continue to expand one after another during nearly two months.

Var. Grevillei.—R. Roxburghii, Hort.; R. platyphylla, Red.—The Seven Sisters Rose.—A beautiful variety, with much larger and more double flowers than the species, of a purplish color. It is easily known from R. multiflora  by the fringed edge of the stipules; while those of the common R. multiflora  have much less fringe, and the leaves are smaller, with the leaflets much less rugose. The form of the blossoms and corymbs is pretty nearly the same in both.

A plant of this variety on the gable end of R. Donald's house, in the Goldworth Nursery, in England, in 1826, covered above 100 square feet, and had more than 100 corymbs of bloom. Some of the corymbs had more than 50 buds in a cluster, and the whole averaged about 30 in each corymb, so that the amount of flower buds was about 3,000. The variety of color produced by the buds at first opening was not less astonishing than their number. White, light blush, deeper blush, light red, darker red, scarlet, and purple flowers, all appeared in the same corymb; and the production of these seven colors at once is said to be the reason why this plant is called the Seven Sisters Rose. This tree produced a shoot the same year which grew 18 feet in length in two or three weeks. This variety, when in a deep, free soil, and an airy situation, is of very vigorous growth, and a free flowerer; but the shoots are of a bramble-like texture, and the plant, in consequence, is of but temporary duration. R. Donald's R. Grevillei  died in three or four years.

Var. Russelliana  is a variety differing considerably, in flowers and foliage, from the species, but retaining the fringed footstalk; and is, hence, quite distinct from R. sempervirens Russelliana.

Var. Boursaulti Boursault Rose , is placed, in Don's Miller, under this species; though it differs more from the preceding variety than many species do from each other. It is comparatively a hard-wooded, durable rose, and valuable for flowering early and freely. This is a very remarkable rose, from its petals having a reticulated appearance.

R. moschata Mill.Musk Rose.Syn. R. glandulifera, Roxb.—Shoots ascending. Prickles upon the stem slender, recurved. Leaflets 5 to 7, lanceolate, acuminate, nearly glabrous, the two surfaces of different colors. Stipules very narrow, acute. Flowers, in many instances, very numerous, white, with the claws of the petals yellow, very fragrant. Lateral peduncles jointed, and, as well as the calyx, pilose, and almost hispid. Sepals almost pinnately cut, long. Fruit red, ? ovate.

The branches of the Musk Rose are generally too weak to support, without props, its large bunches of flowers, which are produced in an umbel-like manner at their extremities. The musky odor is very perceptible, even at some distance from the plant, particularly in the evening,—

“When each inconstant breeze that blows Steals essence from the musky rose.”

It is said to be a native of Barbary; but this has been doubted. It is, however, found wild in Tunis, and is cultivated there for the sake of an essential oil, which is obtained from the petals by distillation. It has also been found wild in Spain. The first record of the musk rose having been cultivated in England is in Hakluyt, in 1582, who states that the musk rose was brought to England from Italy. It was in common cultivation in the time of Gerard, and was formerly much valued for its musky fragrance, when that scent was the fashionable perfume. The Persian attar of roses is said to be obtained from this species. The musk rose does best trained against a wall, on account of the length and weakness of its branches; and Miller adds that it should always be pruned in spring, as in winter it will not bear the knife. It requires very little pruning, as the flowers are produced at the extremities of the shoots, which are often 10 feet or 12 feet in length. It flowers freely, and is well worthy of cultivation. This rose is thought by some to be the same as that of Cyrene, which Athenæus has mentioned as affording a delicious perfume, but of this there is no certain evidence. It seems to have been rare in Europe in the time of Gessner, the botanist, who, in a letter to Dr. Occon, dated Zurich, 1565, says that it was growing in a garden at Augsburg, and he was extremely anxious that the doctor should procure some of its shoots for him. Rivers mentions that Olivier, a French traveler, speaks of a rose tree at Ispahan, called the “Chinese Rose Tree,” fifteen feet high, formed by the union of several stems, each four or five inches in diameter. Seeds of this tree were sent to Paris and produced the common Musk Rose.