Rosa webbiana Royle

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

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



Traditional English name for the formerly independent state known to its people as Bod now the Tibet (Xizang) Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The name Xizang is used in lists of Chinese provinces.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
With an unbroken margin.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Bearing glands.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
Central axis of an inflorescence cone or pinnate leaf.
Appearing as if cut off.


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

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

A shrub up to 8 ft high in the wild, but often half that height or less; branches armed with straight, slender yellowish prickles abruptly widened at the base, up to 12 in. long; on strong shoots the prickles may be very densely arranged and variable in size, though all of essentially the same form, the largest with enlarged, pad-like bases; flowering branchlets unarmed or with prickles like those of the branches, but shorter. Leaves 1 to 3 in. long, with five to nine leaflets; rachis glandular or not, usually unarmed. Leaflets broadly elliptic, obovate or roundish, 38 to 1 in. long, obtuse or truncate at the apex, cuneate to rounded at the base, simply toothed, usually entire in the lower third, somewhat glaucous above, pale and glabrous or slightly downy beneath. Flowers solitary on short laterals in May, 112 to 2 in. wide, pale pink or white, or sometimes white in the centre shading to pink at the margin. Pedicels 38 to 12 in. long, sometimes slightly longer, they and the receptacles smooth or glandular-bristly. Sepals entire, glandular on the back, sometimes expanded at the apex. Fruits pitcher-shaped or globular, constricted at the apex, bright red, crowned by the persistent sepals.

Native of the central and western Himalaya, where it seems to be mainly confined to the drier inner valleys; also of Afghanistan, Tibet and parts of Russian Central Asia; the earliest recorded introduction to Kew was from Ladakh in 1879. The true species seems to be rare in cultivation (1979); see also R. sertata below.

R bella Rehd. & Wils

This species, said to be widely distributed in N. China, is included in R. webbiana by Boulenger. It was described from plants raised at the Arnold Arboretum from seeds collected by William Purdom in Shansi, and introduced by him to the USA, but is scarcely known in this country, even from herbarium specimens. Plants grown as R. bella do not agree well with the original description and are of uncertain identity.

R sertata Rolfe

R. webbiana sens . Boulenger, in part

This species, widely distributed in China from Kansu to Yunnan, should perhaps rank as a subspecies of R. webbiana, differing chiefly in its laxer habit, much sparser prickles and longer leaves. It was introduced to Les Barres in 1897 by one of the French missionaries and distributed by Vilmorin as R. webbiana. But Rolfe described the species from plants at Kew raised by Veitch from seeds collected by Wilson. As seen in cultivation, usually as R. webbiana, it is a very graceful, free-flowering rose, growing to 8 ft high and as much in width, bearing rich rosy pink flowers about 2 in. wide, singly or sometimes up to five on each lateral, and bright red, pitcher-shaped fruits.

var. microphylla Crép.

R. nanothamnus Boulenger

Of dwarf habit; prickles as long as in typical R. webbiana but the leaflets smaller, to {5/8} in. long, often shorter than the prickles. Flowers smaller, 1 to 1{1/2} in. wide. Described from Kashmir, but extending throughout the N.W. Himalaya, mostly in the inner tracts, to Afghanistan and Russian Central Asia.