Rosa omeiensis

Today’s photograph is used with the kind permission of Dr. David Boufford of the Harvard University Herbaria. The field notes accompanying this photograph are available from the Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains site, Rosa omeiensis; a glance at the specimen page will reveal this plant was growing in a forest of fir, larch and birch with a rhododendron understorey.

Fruit colour is variable in Rosa omeiensis, ranging from bright red to deep red to yellow (and, as seen in today’s photograph, mixtures thereof). The fruits are edible, reportedly tasting sweet. The Flora of China entry for Rosa omeiensis notes that they are used medicinally and “to ferment wine” (not sure if that means used to produce wine, or used to aid wine fermentation).

Broadly distributed across central and southern China and Tibet, Omei rose can be found in cultivation, where a particular form (Rosa omeiensis f. pteracantha) is (relatively) widely grown for its winged thorns, much like these thorns from a wild plant. The flowers also have an ornamental appeal, if one appreciates simplicity in rose blossoms.

Rosa omeiensis

15 responses to “Rosa omeiensis”

  1. Melissa Bowen

    Would this be the same as “rose hips”? They are certainly prettier than any in the Southeastern U.S., if they are the Chinese counterparts.

  2. Bonnie

    Some rather sharp looking thorns on this plant with beautiful fruit.

  3. Tom @ Tall Clover

    Just when I think my plant wish list is complete, I open up your email. Stunning and certainly a must have in my climate. Thank you kindly.

  4. Mary the Peony Fan

    Wow! These rose hips are amazing. Thanks for a great photo.

  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Melissa — yes, these are rose hips, as noted by Mary.

  6. phillip

    …one of the few sites I open and my mind says…oooh..!

  7. Elizabeth Brodie

    Wildest little rose hips i ever did see!!!

  8. Tobi

    I wonder if the birds think, “oooh, rose candy!”

  9. elizabeth a airhart

    the flowers are just lovely thank you daniel a forest full of the
    flowers in bloom must be lovely to see do follow the links and search

  10. Tom Wheeler

    Bizarrely beautiful photo David B! I wonder what specific fruit eater this rose has succeeded in attracting? The fruit is so unconventional compared to the typical rose foliage. We have a Rosa macrophylla (big hip rose) cv. at home. Its fruits look like red misshapen chilis. BPoD comes through big time again! Thank you!

  11. sue c.

    Hi Daniel, I am anovice at all this , the pictures and information you
    send are incredible, why is it when I look at he picture of Rosa Omeiensis
    the leaves remind me of the leaves of an Acacia tree?

  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Sue, I can’t really speculate as to the exact reason why the leaves are analogous. I did a bit of investigation to try and understand the adaptive advantage of pinnately compound leaves, but didn’t get very far. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will be able to share.

  13. Robin

    Does this gorgeous thing have a flower?

  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Robin – last link in the entry.

  15. Joey jechenthal

    Simple, pretty blooms, like our wild roses here in IN. But YIKES! those thorns look like real killers!…still, to get hips like that…might be worth it…
    As always, I learn something new when I open my BPoD! Many thanks!

Leave a Reply