Soft Downy Rose
- Latin synonym: Rosa villosa ssp. mollis
- Family: Rose Family – Rosaceae
- Growing form and height: Shrub. 0.5–1.5 m (1.5–5 ft).
- Flower: Regular, large 4–5 cm (1.6–2 in.) across. Sepals 5. Petals 5, free, pink to light purple, notched. Stamens numerous. Carpels free, many, styles hairy. Flowers solitary, or 2–3 together. Flower-stalk short, with glandular hairs.
- Leaves: Alternate. Stipulate, stalked, odd-pinnate. Leaflets five to seven, 1.2–3.5 cm (0.5–1.4 in.) long, roundish, doubly serrate, greyish-green, soft-hairy, with a resinous smell. Leaf underside with glandular hairs.
- Buds: Cone-shaped, small, green–reddish-brown.
- Fruit: Globose, glandular-hairy, red hip containing several achenes.
- Habitat: Dry, nutrient-rich, rocky slopes, pastures, forest margins.
- Flowering time: June–July.
Roses and briars (Rosa spp.) are large-flowered, prickly shrubs. Their leaves are imparipinnate. The actual fruits are achenes which, however, are not visible, but enclosed by the enlarged receptacle, the whole being called a hip. The genus comprises between 100 and 250 species, depending on the defining criteria. They are distributed over the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. Roses have been cultivated in China and the eastern Mediterranean at least for 4,000–5,000 years.
Soft downy-rose is an erect shrub whose stems are sparsely covered with straight and fairly slender prickles. The distribution of this species follows the limits of the so called oak zone. It is an oceanic and generally a western species.