Simon Burchell (CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED)
British Wildlife 35.5 April 2024

Wild British roses: a thorny botanical problem disentangled

Through their varied modes of reproduction, plants have a particular talent for creating taxonomic headaches, which can make species-level identification in the field a daunting prospect. Demystifying some of the most challenging groups is the aim of a new book, Frustrating Flowers & Puzzling Plants: Identifying the Difficult Species of Britain and Ireland, published in January 2024; here, author John M. Warren shares an edited excerpt from the book, focused on the complex world of wild roses.

As some of our most charismatic wildflowers, roses hardly need any introduction. They are common and readily spotted in hedgerows the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland – instantly recognisable with their delicate pale pink flowers which typically bloom in the early summer months, from May through to July.

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