Rosa glauca Pourr. (1788)

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

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'Rosa glauca' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-10-03.



  • R. rubrifolia Vill. (1789), nom. illegit.
  • R. ferruginea Vill. sec . Déségl., not Vill.
  • R. rubicunda Hall. f.
  • R. glaucescens Wulfen


Bluish or greyish waxy substance on leaves or fruits.
With an unbroken margin.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Bearing glands.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
Covered in rough coarse hairs.
Plant originating from the cross-fertilisation of genetically distinct individuals (e.g. two species or two subspecies).
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.
(syn.) (botanical) An alternative or former name for a taxon usually considered to be invalid (often given in brackets). Synonyms arise when a taxon has been described more than once (the prior name usually being the one accepted as correct) or if an article of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has been contravened requiring the publishing of a new name. Developments in taxonomic thought may be reflected in an increasing list of synonyms as generic or specific concepts change over time.


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

Recommended citation
'Rosa glauca' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-10-03.

A shrub of erect habit, 5 to 7 ft high, whose stems are covered with a purplish bloom, and armed with small decurved prickles; strong shoots clad with bristles and needles. Leaflets five or seven, ovate or elliptic, 1 to 112 in. long, simply toothed, quite glabrous, of a beautiful coppery or purplish glaucous hue. Flowers clear pink, 112 in. across, few in a cluster. Pedicels naked or with a few glandular bristles, which sometimes extend on to the receptacle. Sepals narrow, entire or occasionally with a few lateral appendages, 1 in. or more long, standing out beyond the petals. Fruits red, globose or nearly so, 12 in. or rather more long, usually quite smooth and with the sepals fallen away.

Native of the mountains of Europe from the Pyrenees to the Carpathians, south through western Yugoslavia to Albania. It was once grouped with R. canina, but is easily distinguished by the beautiful purplish grey colour of its leaves and its plum-coloured young stems, and also by the longer sepals. It is really more closely allied to R. majalis (cinnamomea) than to R. canina.

The leaf-colour makes R. glauca not only one of the most distinct of roses, but also the most ornamental in vegetative, as distinct from floral, characters. Planted in groups it makes a telling feature in the landscape all the summer through, and usually sets good crops of showy fruits.

For the hybrid ‘Carmenetta’ see G. S. Thomas, Shrub Roses of Today, p. 51. The other parent is R. rugosa. (R. × rubrosa I. Preston).

R. × pokornyana Kmet – A rare natural hybrid between R. glauca and R. canina, occurring occasionally where the species grow together.


The familiar name R. rubrifolia (1789) is antedated by R. glauca Pourret (1788). It is arguable that the latter name, although the earliest, should be discarded as a source of confusion, since the name R. glauca Vill. ex Loisel. (1809) has been widely used for another ally of R. canina. However, even if the name R. glauca Pourret for the present species were to be rejected it would be impossible to maintain the name R. rubrifolia, which Villars rendered illegitimate by citing his own earlier-named species R. ferruginea as a synonym. This was a taxonomic error, since his R. ferruginea, with leaflets hirsute on both sides, was clearly not the same as his R. rubrifolia, which always has perfectly glabrous leaflets. The illegitimacy of the name R. rubrifolia means that if the name R. glauca Pourret were to be left in abeyance it would be necessary to take up the next legitimate name in order of priority, which would appear to be R. rubicunda Hall, f.

R glauca × R.


An evidently very ornamental hybrid of this parentage is portrayed by Redouté under the name R. redutea glauca Thory (Les Roses, Vol. I, p. 101, t.), and was cultivated early in the 19th century in the garden of the Horticultural Society. The origin of the cultivated plants is not recorded, but a colony of this hybrid was discovered in the Haute Savoie on La Croisette in 1898 (Boulenger, Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux., Vol. 12 (1931), p. 325).The R. redutea rubescens of Thory (Redouté, Les Roses, Vol. I, p. 103, t.) is not another form of this hybrid but R. nitida.