Rosa elegantula Rolfe

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

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'Rosa elegantula' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-06-05.



  • R. farreri Stapf ex Steam


Bearing glands.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
(botanical) Contained within another part or organ.
Flower-bearing part of a plant; arrangement of flowers on the floral axis.
midveinCentral and principal vein in a leaf.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
Enlarged end of a flower stalk that bears floral parts; (in some Podocarpaceae) fleshy structure bearing a seed formed by fusion of lowermost seed scales and peduncle.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Rosa elegantula' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-06-05.

A deciduous shrub a few feet high, the young sucker shoots copiously armed with short, slender prickles; branchlets sparingly armed with somewhat larger prickles. Leaves 2 to 4 in. long, composed of seven to eleven leaflets. Leaflets oval to ovate, 38 to 1 in. long, abruptly pointed or obtuse, sharply and mostly simply toothed, glaucous, especially beneath, downy on the midrib. Flowers solitary or a few together, 1 to 112 in. wide, rich rose in the type, sometimes pale pink or white, opening in June; pedicels and receptacle smooth or sometimes glandular. Sepals abruptly narrowed to a slender tail, woolly at the margins and inside. Fruits bright red, top-shaped, 38 to 12 in. long, the sepals persistent.

Native of north-western and west-central China; described from plants raised by Veitch from seeds collected by Wilson (W.1280), which first flowered in 1908; re-introduced by Farrer from Kansu in 1915. It is allied to R. sertata, differing in the copiously prickly strong shoots, smaller flowers, and the sepals abruptly narrowed into a long, slender appendage. In the last-named character it resembles R. davidii, which differs in its leaflets with more numerous teeth, usually more numerous flowers in the inflorescence, and flagon-shaped fruits.

The stock of R. elegantula was sold at the winding-up sale of Messrs J. Veitch in 1913, but this species does not seem to have been much cultivated outside Kew. Indeed its very existence was overlooked when the plants from Farrer’s re-introduction were being considered, for there is no doubt that R. farreri and R. elegantula are the same species. Even the following selection does not differ from the type in any significant botanical character, and is included by Rehder in R. elegantula without distinction (Bibliog. Cult. Tr. & Shr. (1949), p. 310).

'Persetosa' Farrer's Threepenny-bit Rose

A bush up to 6 ft high, more in width. Young shoots with the same armature as typical R. elegantula; the upper twigs may be similarly armed or have a pair of spines at each joint. Leaflets seven or nine, up to about {5/8} in. long on the flowering branchlets, longer on the leaves of strong shoots. Flowers about {3/4} in. wide, coral-red in bud, opening soft warm pink, solitary on smooth pedicels. Fruits about {3/8} in. long, ovoid, coral red. (R. farreri f. persetosa Stapf, Bot. Mag., t. 8877.)A very charming rose, beautiful when the flowers are in bud, when they are fully open, and again in autumn when the bush is hung with the brilliantly coloured fruits and specked with the purple and crimson of the changing leaves. This rose was selected by E. A. Bowles from plants raised from seed under Farrer’s number 774, collected in Kansu in 1915. Other plants from this seed-collection were unremarkable. ‘Persetosa’ is quite hardy but succeeds best in part shade in south-eastern England. It is easily increased by cuttings.