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Dog Rose: the witches briar

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Dog Rose: the witches briar

In mid-June the Dorset hedgerows show the lovely pink flowers of the dog rose (Rosa canina). They flower in June and July and once pollinated will turn in to the rose hips we all know, those wonderful, shiny red/orange seed fruits of the autumn used to make rose-hip syrup. 

Actually, the dog rose can often be mistaken. There is a very similar rose, the field rose (Rosa arvensis) which is very similar in appearance, the field rose tending to be a low scrambling or trailing shrub whereas the dog rose is more of a climber. Dog rose is the more common but the field rose is certainly not uncommon. The dog rose can have deep pink flowers as well as various lighter shades down to almost white. The field rose is pure white. 

If you like insects then dog rose flowers are a good place to look for them as the open flowers attract a full range of insects from beetles to flies.

Being a well known 'traditional' country flower the dog rose has many country names and is steeped in mystery; one name that reflects this is witches briar.


 

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This is just my nature note: for lots more information including distribution maps, status charts, identification guidance and more photographs go to the species home page by clicking/tapping the icon