Two similar-looking native wild roses come into flower in June – the Dog Rose Rosa canina and the Field Rose Rosa arvensis. Identification is based on the way the two species differ in the arrangement of the stigmas at the centre of the flower. Neither species was significant in the development of the garden rose. It is estimated that there are over 200 rose species and up to 30,000 cultivars in the world. They are popular as garden and cut flowers and for use in the perfume and cosmetic industries. Most of the cultivars have been produced from less than 10 rose species.
The flowers of the Rose family always have some form of hypanthium to enclose the ovaries. In Roses the hypanthium forms a deep cup which eventually becomes the red fruit known as the rose hip. Each ovary has a long style which ends in a stigma, the part of the flower that receives pollen. The pollen-releasing anthers protrude from the rim of the hypanthium. Pollinators visit the flowers to collect pollen. The flowers do not offer nectar.
The Dog Rose is a tall shrub, reaching 3m. Its petals are pink or white. It is the most common native wild rose, growing in woods, hedgerows and scrub in Britain, Europe, SW Asia and N Africa. It is pollinated by bees looking for pollen. It flowers in June and July.
The Field Rose is a native low growing shrub (1m) or climbs over other shrubs. Petals are always white. It is found in woods, hedgerows and scrub in Britain and Europe. It is pollinated by bees and other insects looking for pollen. It flowers in June and July.
The Dog rose hypanthium is at the centre of this photo of the flower. A clump of yellow female stigmas sits on the top of the hypanthium. Numerous yellow anthers emerge from the rim of the hypanthium. The anthers turn brown after releasing pollen.
The Field Rose has styles that are united into a column which emerges from the centre of the hypanthium with the stigmas in a clump at the top of the column. The Dog Rose, in comparison, has no column. Numerous yellow anthers emerge from the rim of the hypanthium, ready to release pollen.