If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

08 September, 2016

Sweetbriar: smelling of roses

Wild roses are not the easiest of species to tell apart but, as always, there are clues to help and at the primary level there are, actually, only five alternative to choose from. If you wish to specialise then going to sub-species level is a bit more difficult!
The main clue that this is sweetbriar (Rosa rubiginosa) is its fragrance, other wild roses apart from the burnet rose have no scent. Secondly, the burnet rose is white whilst the sweetbriar is a wonderful shade of pink. Sweetbriar is a species of chalk downland growing in low dense, scrubby bushes whereas dog-rose tends to be more of a climber in hedgerows. Field rose is white. 
So, if you are on chalk downland and find a lovely pink wild rose with a sweet smell then you have found one of three species of sweetbriar. Small-leaved and small-flowered sweetbriar are sub-species but the flowers are much paler.
Sweetbriar: smelling of roses