Species: R. Canina
Common names: Dog Rose
Rosa canina isa deciduous shrub native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia. The plant grows to about 5m depending on it's position. The flowers are light pink, but can vary from a pale to dark pink colour. The stems are covered with hooked spines which help the plant in climbing. Rosa Canina is also better known as the Dog Rose.
The fruit, which are noted for it's high levels of Vitamin C are used to make marmalad, syrups and tea. Rosa canina is known for its antioxidants. It has been grown or encouraged in the wild for the production of vitamin C, from its fruit (often as rose-hip syrup), especially during conditions of scarcity or during wartime. The species has also been introduced to other temperate latitudes.
The Slovenian soft drink Cockta, contains flavourants made by the hips. The dog rose is the flower of Hampshire and during the WWII in the USA, Rosa canina was planted in victory gardens - it is still growing in the USA up and down the coastlines, in wet, sandy areas and on roadsides. It has been reported that soldiers used to smoke the plant with tobacco for insightful dreams or as a halluginogenic.
Rosa canina is also used in landscaped gardens or as a nurse or cover crop. Only a few cultivars of the Genus are cultivated. Rosa canina is also the only dog rose which doesnt have any thorns.
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 numer of seven chromosomes for the genus Rosa, but may be tetraploid or hexaploid as well.