A Rose By Any Other Name

In bud, what will it be?

Why, a dog rose!

My field guide to British wildflowers tells me that the appendage ‘dog’ to the name of a flower (dog rose, dog violet etc) denotes worthlessness or inferiority for some reason.

I know dog violets are so named because they lack a scent, but these roses had a subtle, sweet smell.

According to this source, the worthlessness of a dog rose is that it is not cultivated.  In my book, that makes it much more worthwhile.  I like the wild.  I like the flowers that spring up in crevices between concrete slabs; the weeds that colonise a roadside verge; the moss the grows on shopping trolleys cast into streams.

  • Camera Used: Canon G11
  • Location: near Ivinghoe Beacon, Hertfordshire, UK; June 2010.



    1. Flighty
      I guess if you are trying to cultivate another rose, and it turns out to be a dog rose, you can definitely use ‘dog’ as a perjorative! How annoying, though, that you bought an Iceberg rose and it turns out to be something else entirely! I have a garden full of tomato plants as I bought a mixed seed collection and was expecting tomatoes, basil and something else I’ve forgotten but they’re all tomatoes!


  1. I like it! Those frilly “eye-lashes” are especially fetching. And I learned something new: the derogatory descriptor “dog” for a worthless plant.


    1. Glad you like it, nikkipolani! I can’t take a photo of a rose, or indeed even look at one, without thinking of you. So, you can know that you were in my mind when making these pictures!


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