Nomenclature of vascular plants follows Stace (2010) and, for non-British species, Flora Europaea.
BIOLOGICAL FLORA OF THE BRITISH ISLES*
Biological Flora of the British Isles: Rosa spinosissima L.
Article first published online: 13 FEB 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society
Journal of Ecology
Volume 100, Issue 2, pages 561–576, March 2012
How to Cite
Mayland-Quellhorst, E., Föller, J. and Wissemann, V. (2012), Biological Flora of the British Isles: Rosa spinosissima L. Journal of Ecology, 100: 561–576. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2011.01950.x
- Issue published online: 13 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 13 FEB 2012
- climatic limitation;
- geographical and altitudinal distribution;
- parasites and diseases;
- reproductive biology;
1. This account presents information on all aspects of the biology of Rosa spinosissima L. (R. pimpinellifolia L.) that are relevant to understanding its ecological characteristics and behaviour. The main topics are presented within the standard framework of the Biological Flora of the British Isles: distribution, habitat, communities, responses to biotic factors, responses to environment, structure and physiology, phenology, floral and seed characters, herbivores and disease, history, and conservation.
2. Rosa spinosissima is a small, deciduous shrub forming clonal patches from root suckers. In Britain it is common on stabilized coastal dunes, more or less base-rich heaths, and on open, dry habitats on chalk or limestone inland. It is naturally distributed across temperate Europe and western and central Asia.
3. The small leaves and leaflets, in combination with many straight or slightly curved bristles and prickles, and the black hips, make R. spinosissima easily recognizable in Britain. It normally does not exceed 10–40 cm but cultivars often grow taller.
4. The seeds are dispersed by birds and other animals, particularly as the hips are a favoured diet of birds, because of the high vitamin and anthocyanin content. Vegetative spread is frequent through the root suckers.
5. Cultivars are commonly planted for amenity and in gardens. The origin of the cultivars is not known, but genetic exchange of these with natural British populations may lead to introgression with genotypes which are not locally adapted. The invasive Rosa rugosa may be a threat in some coastal habitats as this species is displacing R. spinosissima on the German North Sea coast.