Rosa virginiana Miller

Locations ofRosa virginiana Miller in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Rosa virginiana Miller
Common Name
Virginia Rose
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Rosa virginiana P. Mill.
Although mapped widely in Atlas III, specimens identified as Rosa virginiana were, in the vast majority of cases, erroneously determined. In Novon 18 (2008), Walter Lewis cites a carolina x virginiana hybrid from Fairfax County. The following words from him challenge Virginia botanists to find out where R. virginiana occurs in Virginia: "I find few "true" virginiana, but clearly it was found around DC and in Va opposite the capitol based on 19th century collections here at MO. Habitat destruction since then has undoubtedly obliterated the species in this area as no further collections have been made there." However, a specimen collected by Fred James (as R. palustris) in 1968 was recently found by Bruce Sorrie at the UNC Herbarium (Occoquan Creek at Rt 23).

Miller's choice of the epithet 'virginiana' for plants then in cultivation in England is probably more a tribute to Britain's premiere colony than to the origin of the plant by which the species was named (W. Lewis, pers. comm.).

Virginia plants represent ssp. virginiana if the northern ssp. minidentata is recognized. Flora of the Southeastern U.S. accepts it, but states that more work is needed to corroborate its validity.
Moist to wet clearings, meadows, stream banks. The Virginia status of Rosa virginiana, as currently circumscribed, is uncertain and requires additional field and herbarium investigation; the few confirmed specimens, all historical, are from far n. Virginia near Washington, D.C.
Native Status

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