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Rosebush :: Take time to smell the roses.


Rosebush

Errol McKinson

Oil on Canvas 24x18

My rose garden at home in Laurel Maryland. The woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over a hundred species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles.

While the sharp objects along a rose stem are commonly called "thorns", they are technically prickles — outgrowths of the epidermis (the outer layer of tissue of the stem).

(True thorns, as produced by e.g. Citrus or Pyracantha, are modified stems, which always originate at a node and which have nodes and internodes along the length of the thorn itself.) Rose prickles are typically sickle-shaped hooks, which aid the rose in hanging onto other vegetation when growing over it. Some species such as Rosa rugosa and Rosa pimpinellifolia have densely packed straight prickles, probably an adaptation to reduce browsing by animals, but also possibly an adaptation to trap wind-blown sand and so reduce erosion and protect their roots (both of these species grow naturally on coastal sand dunes).

Despite the presence of prickles, roses are frequently browsed by deer. A few species of roses have only vestigial prickles that have no points.

Cheers,

Errol


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