Wild roses of the Euromediterranean area: how to identify them

Wild roses are among the most critical taxa as far as their identification is concerned.
Usually just one photo does not allow to provide an identification.
Flowering plants are often more difficult to identify than fruiting ones.

Here a list of characters that should be photographed (or observed) for the identification:

  1. Hairs on leaves lower side:
    i) glabrous; ii) only glandular hairs; iii) only non-glandular hairs; iv) both glandular and non-glandular hairs; v) scattered glandular hairs only on veins

  2. Leaves marginal teeth:
    i) simple or some with only one small tooth behind; ii) compound, each with a stalked glandular hair at apex.

  3. Rachys:
    i) glabrous; ii) only glandular hairs; iii) only non-glandular hairs; iv) both glandular and non-glandular hairs

  4. Leaves surface:
    i) glossy; ii) dull

  5. Sepals:

  • at frutification:
    i) reflexed or, rarely, spreading, early caducous; ii) erect to ercto-patent, rarely spreading, persistent at frutification.

  • shape:
    i) heteromorph: the outer ones well laciniate; ii) honomorph: all undivided or, rarely, the eouter ones with few small laciniae.
    i) long-pointed in a narrow apex; ii) narrowly triangular but not long-pointed; iii) short, ovate and abruptly contracted

  • hairs:
    i) glabrous on outer surface; ii) with glandular hairs on outer surface.

  1. Styles:
  • shape:
    i) free and forming a sort of cushion that is usually sessile or short-stalked, well shorter than stamens; ii) united and forming a column much longer than stigma and longer than inner stamens

  • hairs:
    i) glabrous of nearly so; ii) hairy

  1. Pedicels:
  • hairs:
    i) glandular hairs present; ii) glandular hairs absent

  • pedicel to bract ration:
    i) pedicel > bract; ii) pedicel < bract

  1. Spines:
    i) More or less all homomorph; ii) distincly heteromorph
    i) with broad base and curved; ii) slender or rubust with narrow or rather broad base but straight or almost so
    i) scattered; ii) dense; iii) absent or present in lower part

  2. Petals:
    i) pure white; ii) light pink; iii) deep pink; iv) red; v) pink with whitish base

  3. Fruits:

  • shape:
    i) longer than broad; ii) much longer than broad; iii) globose or subglobose

  • colour when mature:
    i) red; ii) blackish

  • hairs:
    i) glabrous; ii) with glandular, long-stalked, often rigid, hairs

  1. Habit:
    i) large bushy plants; ii) small montane bushes; iii) creeping or climbing plants

  2. Orifice:
    i) diameter at frutification

  3. Stem:
    i) glabrous; ii) hairy
    i) pruinose; ii) non-pruinose or almost so

  4. Habitat:
    i) high montane up to alpine habitats; ii) planitial to submontane habitats

Unfortunately on iNat many posts only depict flowers or fruits making the identification nearly (or at all) impossible.

Originally posted here:


Can you write your thoughts about Cornus please?

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I have no idea at now since here in Italy there are only two well distinguished taxa (C. mas and C. sanguinea). Could you open a new thread on Cornus showing the critical aspects and, if possible, add the most rilevant literature?


I can try to.

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