Wednesday, December 9, 2009


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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rosa Canina

Rosa canina (lit. Dog Rose) is a variable scrambling rose species native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia.

It is a deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1-5 m, though sometimes it can scramble higher into the crowns of taller trees. Its stems are covered with small, sharp, hooked spines, which aid it in climbing. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are usually pale pink, but can vary between a deep pink and white. They are 4-6 cm diameter with five petals, and mature into an oval 1.5-2 cm red-orange fruit, or hip.

Cultivation and uses

The plant is high in certain antioxidants. The fruit is noted for its high vitamin C level and is used to make syrup, tea and marmalade. It has been grown or encouraged in the wild for the production of vitamin C, from its fruit (often as rose-hip syrup), especiall
y during conditions of scarcity or during wartime. The species has also been introduced to other temperate latitudes. During World War II in the United States Rosa canina was planted in victory gardens, and can still be found growing throughout the United States, including roadsides, and in wet, sandy areas up and down coastlines.

During the Vietnam War, for soldiers fighting with the North, Rosa canina was dried and then smoked with tobacco to produce mild hallucinogenic effec
ts and abnormal dreams.

Forms of this plant are sometimes used as stocks for the grafting or budding of cultivated varieties. The wild plant is planted as a nurse or cover crop, or stabilising plant in land reclamation and specialised landscaping schemes.

Numerous cultivars have been named, though few are common in cultivation. The cultivar Rosa canina 'Assisiensis' is the only dog rose without thorns. The hips are used as a flavouring in the Slovenian soft drink Cockta.

Canina meiosis

The dog roses, the Canina section of the genus Rosa (20-30 species and subspecies, which occur mostly in Northern and Central Europe), have a unique kind of meiosis. Regardless of ploidy level, only seven bivalents are formed leaving the other chromosomes as univalents. Univalents are included in egg cells, but not in pollen. Dogroses are most commonly pentaploid, i.e. five times the base number of seven chromosomes for the genus Rosa, but may be tetraploid or hexaploid as well.


The name 'dog' has a disparaging meaning in this context, indicating 'worthless' (by comparison with cultivated garden roses) (Vedel & Lange 1960). It was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to treat the bite of rabid dogs, hence the name "dog rose" arose.(It is also possible that the name derives from "dag," a shortening of "dagger," in reference to the long thorns of the plant.) Other old folk names include rose briar (also spelt brier), briar rose, dogberry, herb patience, sweet briar, wild briar, witches' briar, and briar hip.

* In Turkish, its name is kuşburnu, which translates as "bird nose."
* In Swedish, its name is stenros, which translates to "stone rose."
* In Norwegian, its name is steinnype, which translates to "stone hip."
* In Danish, its name is hunderose, which translates as "dog rose."
* In Azeri, its name is itburunu, which translates as "dog nose."
* In Russian, its name is шиповник (translit: 'shipovnik'), which translates as "thorn bearer."
* In Bulgarian, its name is шипка (translit: 'shipka')

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

How to Care for Roses

Roses are a few of the most beautiful and loved flowers on this earth to grace our gardens and enhance our lives. However roses have had a reputation for being a hard to care for plant. Many rose bush owners find this is true, others have taken the necessary steps to learn the proper care that is needed for their rose gardens and bushes.

To keep the plant looking its best roses do require some regular attention, but after learning the proper methods in the care of roses, it is easy for a plant to look its best. The most basic necessity for a plant is it’s need of water. All plants need water, some need more and some need less, and roses are no different. Roses bloom and look their best if well watered but not over watered.

Roses need about one inch of water a week and the roots of the rose are what really need consideration in this step. The roots of the rose bush go deep into the ground, and because of this deep root system they are capable of extracting water from the deeper soil; even when the surface looks and feels dry. This helps roses to withstand dry spells.

Getting water to the roots of the roses bush encourages them to grow deep. Many times a plant owner will only give the roses frequent but light waterings. This is not good as the roots of the rose plant will only grow a shallow root system within the soil. This results in the rose plant not being able to withstand the drying of the upper layer of soil in a dry spell.

Proper rose care also means feeding, this is in the form of fertilizing. Most types of roses are capable of going years without feeding if they are planted in good rich soil. The roses feed on the nutrients that are produced by organisms that live in the rich fertile soil. Sometimes over using a man-made fertilizer you can smother these beneficial organisms. That and your plants can become dependent on the man-made fertilizers forcing you to be constantly feeding them.

Instead, we want to apply a time-release type of fertilizer to the soil when the plant is coming out of its winter dormant period in the early spring. We also want to apply a small amount of fertilizer just after the blooms have fallen or gone away as the plant is storing up energy for next season. But do not fertilize after midsummer.

Roses do pretty well with both inorganic and organic fertilizers, but only organic fertilizers are digested by the helpful organisms, bacteria and fungus found in good rich soil. This is good as the result will be your soil becoming permanently more fertile. The best combination for inorganic fertilizer is 5-10-5 or 4-8-4, and those numbers are usually listed on the fertilizers container.

Pruning is very important in the care of roses. It is usually carried out in the spring, after the plants winter dormancy period. It is at this stage pruning is done to remove the dead, diseased or broken wood from the plant. This helps to give the plant space within the branches so air can move freely throughout thus keeping it healthy.

Pruning is also done for shaping of the rose plant or bush, other than that, the next stage of pruning occurs after the plant has bloomed. Pruning the actual flowers themselves helps encourage growth and if the plant is new, by removing the flower buds it helps to establish the new plant and root system.

Caring for roses does take some time and a degree of commitment, and many people use this time for meditation or self reflection. The care of roses takes patience, skill, and knowledge, and there is nothing better to show for your hard work than a beautiful Rose Garden for all to see. The satisfaction of being able to display and show off your beautiful roses in your front yard is priceless. A reward time and again when people compliment you on your roses.

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Planting of Roses

Planting a rose plant goes beyond how deep the hole should be and if fertilizer should be used now or later. The first and an important step in rose planting that should not be overlooked is picking the location of where you are going to plant your roses. It is as true in planting as it is in real estate; location, location, location. There are several things that need to be considered when choosing a location for our rose plants.

Will the place you care choosing to plant your roses get enough sunlight? The majority of rose species should have at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight a day. Even rose plants that are shade tolerant need about four to six hours of direct sunlight to do well.

Is the soil where you plan to plant your roses healthy? Roses are hungry eaters and need have nutritious soil. They do not like soil that has too much clay or too much sand. A quick test you can do with your soil to find out if it has too much clay or sand is to clump it in your hand. If the soil holds the mold and does not crumble easily, it has too much clay. If the soil crumbles too easily and does not hold the mold, it has too much sand. God soil should hold the mold in your hand but crumble easily. The soil should also not be too acidic, contain too much limestone or too much chalk.

And finally, is the place where you are going to plant your rose plant too close to trees or other plants? There are many trees and other larger plants that will extract water and nutrients from the soil from roots that extend far beyond their drip line. If you encounter a lot of roots where you are digging your hole for your rose bush, most likely these roots are going to cause a problem for your plant. There are some climbing rose and some shrubs that are an exception but most rose plants only like to be mixed with other roses or other non-invasive plants.

Now that you have the perfect location for your rose plant, you can think about the basics such as how deep the hole should be. You will need to dig a hole that is slightly larger than the size of the pot the plant is in or root system of the plant. The depth of the hole depends on the climate that you live in. Colder areas need to plant their roses slightly deeper. It is a good idea to talk to other rose grower in the area as to which is the proper depth for you. Depths may be different for lots of different people but, everyone can benefit from loosening the soil at the bottom of the hole. You can also place some compost in the bottom of the hole plus a sprinkle of bone meal which is a source of Phosphorus and is slow acting and encourages healthy root growth. Spread out the roots slightly after you place the plant into the hole. Refill the hole and make sure that the soil settles around the roots. Water the roots before you cover them with the last couple of inches of soil. And finally place the last of the soil back into the hole and firm the soil slightly. You can water the plant at this step also.

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A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower is to mediate the union of male sperm with female ovum in order to produce seeds. The process begins with pollination, is followed by fertilization, leading to the formation and dispersal of the seeds. For the higher plants, seeds are the next generation, and serve as the primary means by which individuals of a species are dispersed across the landscape. The grouping of flowers on a plant is called the inflorescence.

In addition to serving as the reproductive organs of flowering plants, flowers have long been admired and used by humans, mainly to beautify their environment but also as a source of food.

Flower specialization and pollination
Flowering plants usually face selective pressure to optimise the transfer of their pollen, and this is typically reflected in the morphology of the flowers and the behaviour of the plants. Pollen may be transferred between plants via a number of 'vectors'. Some plants make use of abiotic vectors - namely wind (anemophily) or, much less commonly, water (hydrophily). Others use biotic vectors including insects (entomophily), birds (ornithophily), bats (chiropterophily) or other animals. Some plants make use of multiple vectors, but many are highly specialised.

Cleistogamous flowers are self pollinated, after which they may or may not open. Many Viola and some Salvia species are known to have these types of flowers.

The flowers of plants that make use of biotic pollen vectors commonly have glands called nectaries that act as an incentive for animals to visit the flower. Some flowers have patterns, called nectar guides, that show pollinators where to look for nectar. Flowers also attract pollinators by scent and color. Still other flowers use mimicry to attract pollinators. Some species of orchids, for example, produce flowers resembling female bees in color, shape, and scent. Flowers are also specialized in shape and have an arrangement of the stamens that ensures that pollen grains are transferred to the bodies of the pollinator when it lands in search of its attractant (such as nectar, pollen, or a mate). In pursuing this attractant from many flowers of the same species, the pollinator transfers pollen to the stigmas—arranged with equally pointed precision—of all of the flowers it visits.
Callistemon citrinus flowers.

Anemophilous flowers use the wind to move pollen from one flower to the next. Examples include grasses, birch trees, ragweed and maples. They have no need to attract pollinators and therefore tend not to be "showy" flowers. Male and female reproductive organs are generally found in separate flowers, the male flowers having a number of long filaments terminating in exposed stamens, and the female flowers having long, feather-like stigmas. Whereas the pollen of animal-pollinated flowers tends to be large-grained, sticky, and rich in protein (another "reward" for pollinators), anemophilous flower pollen is usually small-grained, very light, and of little nutritional value to animals.

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