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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles
'Rosa 'Watsoniana'' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
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A trailing shrub whose glabrous, slender stems are armed with small hooked prickles. Leaflets three or five, linear, 1 to 21⁄2 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. wide, margins wavy, not toothed, downy beneath, mottled with yellow down the centre above; rachis downy, glandular and spiny. Stipules very narrow, not toothed. Flowers pale rose with narrow petals, 1⁄2 in. wide, crowded in short, broad panicles. Sepals lanceolate, entire. Styles glabrous, united in an exserted column. Fruits globose, red, 1⁄4 in. wide.
A garden rose of Japan, whence it was introduced to the USA before 1870 and thence to Britain. It shows some affinity with R. multiflora, but the long, narrow leaflets distinguish it, and in its essential characters it is quite different. <It has frequently been treated as a species, as it was by Bean, but current thought regards it as a cultivar. It has also become known in cultivation as R. × beanii, but how this mistake happened is unknown.> [added by JMG June 2022, when the entry was changed to reflect its cultivar status.]
It is a rose of delicate constitution, but has been grown successfully at Kew and in other gardens, though the finest plants are in southern Europe. In previous editions it was added: ‘Anywhere it must be regarded more as a curiosity than anything else’, but some gardeners have a liking for it.