Saturday, June 3, 2017

War of the Roses

Climbing Prairie Rose, Rosa setigera. - REK
Rosa setigera - REK
We encountered these beautiful roses while spraying Sericea Lespedeza at La Petite Gemme Prairie.  They had pink blossoms and particularly striking were the colorful stems.  I knew they weren't our hated Multiflora Rose which has white blossoms but otherwise I didn't know the difference.  I emailed Carol Davit of MPF who identified them as Climbing Prairie Roses, Rosa setigera.  She also taught me a little about stipules, the feature that had caught my eye in the picture above.

Multiflora rose - USDA Plant Database

Stipule is a term coined by Linnaeus to describe outgrowths on the side of the petiole (leaf stalk).  In most native roses these are winged as seen in the pink and green stipules at the top of the page.  The invasive Rosa Multiflora that we spend so much effort killing is the only Missouri rose that has a fringe of stipules around the base of the petiole.

Winged stipule - click to enlarge
The MPF Bioblitz is a great place to learn more about prairie ecology, botany and animal life.  It will be at Stillwell Prairie on June 10-11th.  I would "stipulate" that you should try to sign up for some of the sessions at this link.

While acting as Barb's Sherpa by carrying a sprayer of Remedy and following her pointer to "spray that," I had a chance to photograph a few prairie highlights that are posted in this Flickr album. has a good description of roses' features and provided the bottom three photographs.