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This is a beauty, simple, classic and charming. I am not a great fan of garden roses, especially the standard roses which to me are just a ball of spiky sticks on top of a pole that for a small time of the year have some OK flowers. Almost as bad are the bush roses which for many months of the year are just an aggressive crown of thorny twigs.

Dog Rose

Dog Rose

However the Dog Rose is beautiful, it only flowers for a few weeks of the year, late May and into June in this part of France. It does make a second display in the Autumn when the bright red Rose hips can brighten up the hedgerows. Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C with up to 1700mg per 100grams of rose hip. Somewhat more useful ?? is the ‘itching powder’ which is inside the rose hip. As a small boy I and my friends would get this out of the rose hips and push it down the blouse of one of the girls……. great eh….. and then they were really uncomfortable as it made them itch like hell. The real reason for these itchy hairs inside the rose hip is that birds eat the juicy rose hip and get the vitamins and sugars in the outer part but then the hairs start to irritate their crop and they spit/sick out the hairs along with the seeds,as this happens some distance from where they first eat the rose hip the seeds are thus dispersed.Dog Rose7

So why is if called a Dog rose? Not a very complimentary name. possibly it is because the Greeks believed that a concoction made from the roots could cure a bite from a rabid dog. It did not of course but it probably gave the victim some hope for their last few days. Another theory is that this rose is not as good as the cultivated ones so is a bit of a dog, but given that the name Rosa canina was given to it hundreds of years ago when cultivated roses were not that special then this also seems a bit implausible..

Wild rose bush

Wild rose bush

The dog rose is also a royal symbol, in the time of Henry 8th it was a symbol of the Monarchy ,and of course the Tudor rose is the classic Dog rose shape.

I like the way the stamens look like little dots against the petals.

Dog Rose

Dog Rose

This is a very simple design and one which often appears in some of the early art deco designs by the Grays Pottery which had the benefit of Susie Copper up till about 1929. Many of the  designs from that period when Susie Copper was working at the Burslem pottery and just after, feature flowers with dotty stamens, not exactly Dog roses but very similar and of course as all these designs were hand painted the application of a few black dots was easy and gave nice some nice detail.Dog Rose22Dog Rose21

I have also discovered a good web site to help with wild flower ID, but it is for British flowers. It is  http://www.flowers.goodpages.co.uk/ however many British flowers also occur in Piotou-Charentes.

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