Rose time has begun in Melbourne, a little late this year, but nevertheless quite spectacularly in this case!
Rosa banksiae, common names Lady Banks' rose, or just Banks' rose, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family, Rosaceae, native to central and western China, in the provinces of Gansu, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Sichuan and Yunnan, at altitudes of 500–2,200 m.
It is a scrambling shrubby vine growing vigorously to 6 m tall. Unlike most roses, it is practically thornless, though it may bear some prickles up to 5 mm long, particularly on stout, strong shoots. The leaves are evergreen, 4–6 cm long, with three to five (rarely seven) leaflets 2–5 cm long with a serrated margin. The flowers are small, 1.5-2.5 cm diameter, white or pale yellow. It is amongst the earliest flowering of all roses, usually appearing during May in the northern hemisphere, though cold weather can delay flowering. All Lady Banks' roses are said to smell of violets to varying degrees. The rose is named after Lady Banks, the wife of the botanist Sir Joseph Banks.
Rosa banksiae has likely been grown in the gardens of China for hundreds of years. The species was introduced to Europe by William Kerr, who had been sent on a plant-hunting expedition by Sir Joseph Banks. He bought the first Lady Banks' Rose, subsequently named the white Lady Banks (R. banksiae var. banksiae) from the famous Fa Tee nursery in 1807. A number of other forms were subsequently discovered growing in China, including R. banksiae var. normalis, and R. banksiae 'Lutea', the yellow Lady Banks' rose (brought to Europe in 1824 by J. D. Parks). This cultivar has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.