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Rosa glauca - rubrifolia

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Rosa glauca ©Susanna

Rubrifolia is easy to distinguish from other roses due to the colour of the leaves and upper stems, which are reddish with an unusual bluish bloom. Previously the Latin name was Rosa rubrifolia, hence the common name in English.

The typical red of the leaves is best in open sunny situations. Rubrifolia flowers in late June with single, pale rose, lightly scented blossoms. They are rather small but their colour is in excellent contrast to the leaves. In autumn rubrifolia produces an abundance of longish, fat red hips, and the whole shrub takes on good autumn colour.

Rubrifolia is native to the mountain areas of central Europe and is hardy throughout most of Finland. It is quite undemanding and produces no suckers. At Mustila, it can be found along the path that leads from the office towards Atsalea Slope, where their colour stands out against the forest background.

Rubrifolia has been sold in Finland since the late 1800s and can sometimes be found as an escapee. Particularly in shady spots its foliage can be disfigured by a rust fungus which spots the leaves.


Rosa koreana

This Korean rose grows naturally on stony hillsides and at the edges of forest in Korea, northern China and the Russian Far East. It is a close relation to the popular variety known in Finland as the midsummer rose (R. pimpinellifolia ‘Plena’), and its beautiful single flowers and delicate foliage meet the tastes of those who go in for wild roses. The flower colour can vary from white to pale red depending on the individual and the provenance. In autumn the species produces decorative orange-red hips and the leaves take on beautiful autumn colour before falling. The stems are extremely prickly, so it makes good hedges.

The specimens at Mustila are from seed collected by the Swedish plant hunter Elisabeth Öberg’s expeditions to north-east China’s Changbai Mountains. So far the hardiness of the young shrubs has been excellent, as might be expected of provenances from such a cold mountain area.


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