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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles
'Rosa macrophylla' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
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A shrub 8 to 12 ft high, with erect stems and arching branches, sometimes unarmed but usually furnished with straight prickles up to 1⁄2 in. long, more or less directed upwards, often paired at the nodes. Leaves up to 8 in. long, consisting of from five to eleven leaflets which are 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, elliptic, elliptic-oblong or elliptic-ovate, usually acute or acuminate at the apex, more rarely obtuse, glabrous above, usually downy and sometimes glandular beneath, toothed almost to the base, the teeth simple or compound, usually twenty or more on each side of the longest leaves. Stipules usually broad and often red-tinged. Flowers in June or July, 2 to 3 in. across, deep dog-rose pink or bluish pink, solitary, or more commonly, in bracted clusters of up to five. Pedicels and receptacles more or less glandular bristly. Sepals entire (very rarely with one or two lateral appendages), 1 to 11⁄2 in. long, expanding into a leafy tip, more or less glandular on the back. Stigmas woolly. Fruits flagon-shaped to roundish, up to 11⁄2 in. long, always with a more or less distinct neck at the apex, crowned by the persistent sepals.
Native of the Himalaya, with close relatives in China. This fine rose was introduced about 1818, and is among the handsomest of the genus in its fruits, which often hang in numerous clusters. In describing R. macrophylla, Lindley remarked on its similarity to the European R. pendulina (which he knew as R. alpina). In this century, Boulenger went so far as to make it no more than a variety of that species. The difference, according to him, is in average characters, R. macrophylla having the prickles usually twinned at the nodes (rarely so in R. pendulina), its leaflets somewhat longer, more frequently downy beneath, with more numerous teeth, and the inflorescence more frequently many-flowered.
Some of the roses of W. China are closely allied to R. macrophylla but in the present state of our knowledge it seems better to regard them as distinct species. See further under R. moyesii. The varieties of R. macrophylla named by Vilmorin from introductions by the French missionaries have been disposed of as follows: var. acicularis is transferred to R. davidii; var. rubrostaminea is, according to Rehder, a form of R. moyesii; var. crasseaculeata probably belongs to R. setipoda.