From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wild Roses

Prairie rose and pasture rose



Wild rose, pasture roseRosa carolina, wild pasture rose of western Kentucky

This pretty little wild rose is named Rosa carolina or pasture rose. Several clumps of Rosa Carolina grow along our lane, which climbs the hill to our house from the highway. Every summer, I enjoy seeing their blossoms.

Pasture rose is a native of the eastern United States. I'm also familiar with wild prairie roses from my Nebraska childhood. The flowers of both roses are very similar, but the berry of the pasture rose is yellowish-orange while the prairie rose has a red or red-orange berry.

The pasture roses here are a larger plant than the prairie roses I remember. Western Kentucky usually gets about three times more rain per year than western Nebraska, and I am sure that affects the size of the wild rosebushes.

I've noticed that ladies sometimes choose "Prairie Rose" as a nickname for internet bulletin boards or a CB handle. There are many other things named for prairie roses, even a town in North Dakota. Pasture rose isn't often honored in that way -- its humble, homely name is rarely adopted.

I took this photo earlier this summer before the drought became severe here. The roses look lush and fresh, compared to the dried-up landscape we have right now.

If you look closely, you'll notice two plants are represented in the photo. The other one is honeysuckle vine, which grows rampantly around here. It's an invasive species, not even a native of this continent. It was brought here as an ornamental from Asia. I love the scent of honeysuckle blossoms, but I hate its habit of growing over anything in its path.

2 comments:

RunAwayImagination said...

Honeysuckle does smell wonderful, but you hate to have it invade your yard. I remember as a kid pulling the flowers apart to suck the drop of sweet nectar from them.

Genevieve said...

I remember that too, Runaway.

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