Rosa Eglantine– A Long Way From Home
R. eglanteria, R. rubiginosa, 'Sweet Briar', 'Eglantine Rose' On my first trip to La Grande, Oregon, I was startled to see the famous English rose, Eglantine, growing happily along side this big red barn. Did I, a former Oregonian, need to have Gregg Lowery (California rose expert) tell me that it got there via the pioneers on the Oregon Trail? Yep, I'm embarrassed to admit. After all those grade school years of Oregon history, you'd think I could figure that one out.
On my recent trip, Eglantine looked pretty scruffy. As I stepped out of the car to photograph, a lady in another car pulled up and told me her mother was the barn owner. I wish I had asked her about the barn and even the rose.
Did you know that Eglantine has divine apple-scented foliage? And just look at her hips– she's a very fruitful gal. The rose is well-armed, as in very thorny, and is quite a grower. In a year's time, mine reached 7-ft, and that can double and triple. Peter Beales says, "R. eglanteria is a native of Europe and has probably been appreciated for its perfumed leaves since civilization began."
The Bard loved her:
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.
~ William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream