Originated from Europe, Africa and Western Asia, Eglantine rose is under the Rosaceae family with beautiful five-petaled pink to white flowers, an apple-like fragrance of foliage and its glossy orange to red hips. With its fragrant foliage, it has been a favorite garden rose back then. This ancient rose dated back as far as 1551 has been mentioned in many English literary works. In fact, even Shakespeare mentioned this lovely rose in one of his works.
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine.”
–Shakespeare, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream“
Scientific Name: Rosa arabica Crep. , Rosa eglanteria L., Rosa rubiginosa L.
Common Name: briar rose, eglantine, mosqueta rose, sweet briar, sweet briar rose, sweet brier, sweet brier rose, wild rose
Plant type: Shrub
Height: 6 to 10 feet
Spread: 6 to 10 feet
Bloom time: Late spring to summer
Light: Full sun
Water: Medium, deeply and regularly
Fertiliser: Does not require a lot of fertilising but spread mulch retain moisture
Soil: moist but well-drained,
Propagation: Hardwood cuttings and seeds
Landscape Uses: Hedges
Special Features: Flowers,Fragrant, Showy Fruit, Attractive to birds and butterflies ,Easy to Grow, Disease resistance and thorny, persist well in winter
Growing Eglantine Rose
- Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained loams in full sun.
- Avoid overhead watering.
- Good air circulation promotes healthy growth and helps control foliar diseases.
- Suggested to be planted on the south or west side of the garden so that the fragrance will be brought into the garden on warm, moist winds.
- Prune as needed.
Pest and Diseases
- May be attacked by aphids, leafhoppers, glasshouse red spider mite, scale insects, caterpillars, rose leaf-rolling sawfly, leaf cutting bees, rabbits and deer.
- It may also be affected by rose rust and powdery mildews.
Facts About Eglantine Rose
- It is the birthday flower for 29th March.
- Vitamin C is extracted from the hips; the hips are also used for cosmetic preparations.
- It was the glossy bright red hips of sweet-briar which were used in England to flavour the then popular medieval mead.
- Elizabeth I adopted Eglantine rose as her favorite symbol.
- Mention in many English literary works:
Cymbeline he writes
……………………………..thou shalt not lack
The flower that’s like thy face, pale primrose, nor
The azur’d hare-bell, like thy veins’ no, nor
The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweetened not thy breath;
Robert Herrick’s (1591-1674) words
From this bleeding hand of mine
Take this sprig of eglantine,
Which, though sweet unto your smell,
Yet the fretful briar will tell,
He who plucks the sweets shall prove
Many thorns to be in love.
Edmund Spenser’s (c.1552-1599) Sonnets he wrote
Sweet is the eglantine, but pricketh nere.
- In Tunisia, natural flower water is produced from its flowers.
- Although you might want to grow eglantine as a hedge near your garage, you must really think twice for it is regarded as a significant environmental weed in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and as an environmental weed in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania.
- In Chile, Spain and Argentina, where it is known as “Rosa Mosqueta“, it can be found in the wild around the Andes range and is also cultivated to produce marmalades and cosmetic products.
- It is listed as a Category 1 Declared Weed in South Africa. These plants may no longer be planted or propagated, and all trade in their seeds, cuttings or other propagative material is prohibited.
- It is classified as a restricted plant in New Zealand and is banned from sale, propagation and distribution in the Auckland, Canterbury, and Southland regions.
- In flower language is said to be a symbol of genius, ‘I wound to heal’, poetry, spring, simplicity, and talent.
Wikipedia: Rosa rubiginosa
Royal Horticultural Societ: Rosa rubiginosa
Environmental Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland: Sweet Briar