trees of the rose tribe
trees of the rose tribe defined in 1944 yeartrees of the rose tribe - Trees of the Rose Tribe;
trees of the rose tribe - The natural order Rosaceae contributes to the British flora at least fourteen small trees, none of which is of importance a timber producer. They are occasionally employed for ornamental effects, or as shelter to more useful tree species.
Except for the Rowan, which has a compound leaf, the leaves of all are simple and spirally set; lobed leaves occur. The flowers are borne in April or May, in conspicuous clusters, white or pink in colour, and are completely furnished with 5 sepals, 5 petals, numerous golden yellow stamens and up to 5 carpels. Most of the species are readily identified by their fruits, but at other stages are often hard to tell apart; their characteristics are variable, and botanists seldom agree as to which forms should rank as distinct species. Foreign species, frequently introduced and naturalised, are numerous, and have been imported from all parts of the northern hemisphere. Pollination is by insects, and the distribution of seed is carried out by, birds, which feed on the succulent fruits. Most of the family develop short shoots, on which the flowers are commonly borne.
The Rose tribe appears to be in an active state of evolutionary development, which has aided the orchardist and gardener in the development of cultivated strains of apples, spears, cherries, and plums, as well as the countless varieties and hybrids of the garden rose.
wild cherries. Three species of these are distinguished, but all have simple leaves with a serrated edge, flower in May as soon as the leaves appear, and develop their fruits very early, in July and August. These wild cherries are smaller in size than the garden cherry, red or black in colour, long-stalked with a hard stone surrounded by an acid fleshy layer which turns sweeter on ripening.
The Gean (Prunus avium L.) G. Vogel Kirsche; F. Cerisier; W. Ceiriosen; E. Sirir or Silin, is the most suitable species for woodland planting, as it attains a height of 50 feet, with an erect bole. The bluish-brown, smooth bark, is distinguished by broad lateral bands of brownish corky lenticels. Flowers in umbels, leaves pendulous, and downy on their undersides. Propagated from seed. The leaves turn red before falling in October. The wood has an attractive brown heart, of value in fine- cabinet making. Pipes for smoking are carved from smaller stems. Figs. 1, 2.
Prunus padus L,. has flowers in racemes; whilst the leaves of P. cerasus L. are erect and smooth on both sides.
Wild plums (G. Pflaum; F. Prunier; W. Eirinen; E. Pluimbfr or Crann Pluma). 3 species of small stature, more or less spiny, leaves small, simple, with serrated edges. Flowers appear before the leaves. Fruits yellow or black, like small plums, and covered with waxy bloom. Fig. 3.
The Sloe, known also as the Whitethorn or Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa L.), G. Schlehe, Schwarzdorn; F. Épine noire; W. Draenen ddu; E. Draigean Dub, Har, is a common shrub remarkable for its spiny black branches, masses of snow-white flowers in March and April, and jet-black fruits in October. The bush may be used for hedging, and the fruits for making Sloe Gin or jams. Prunus institia L., the Bullace, is larger, less spiny, flowers later. P. domestica L. the wild plum, has no spines.
The wild apple or Gab (Malus pumila, Miller), G. Apfelbaum; Pommier; W. Afal; E. Ubaill, seldom exceeds a height of 30 feet, and is distinguished by the rose-pink tint of its flowers which appear just before the leaves in April. The small, yellow, many-seeded fruit, ripens in October. It is intensely bitter, but may be made into a palatable jelly. The twigs are very spiny.
The wild pear (Pyrus communis L.); G. Birne; F. Poirier; W. Peran; E. Péirfn, attains a height of 50 feet, and its white flowers appear after the leaves in May. The green fruit does not ripen until November, when it turns yellow, but it is acid and hard-textured. The wood of the pear is smooth-textured, rosy brown in colour, and is used for geometrical instruments. The twigs are somewhat spiny. Fig. 4.
The Rowan, Quicken, or Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.); Vogelbeerebaum; F. Sorbier des Oiseaux; W. Cerddinen; E. Caortainn, is a small shrub native to the north and west of Britain, naturalised on the sandy heaths of southern England, and cultivated in gardens everywhere. Highly valued as an ornamental tree, its only purpose in forestry is as a nurse or fire-break on exposed sites. The dark blue-grey bole has prominent horizontal bands of lenticels, and the tree is readily distinguished by its compound leaf, each leaflet having a serrated edge, by the masses of creamy white flowers in June, and the orange-scarlet berries in September. Propagated from seed, which must be stored in moist sand for 18 months to allow the fleshy covering to rot away.
As a wild tree, the Rowan prefers dry sites with a sandy or acid soil, and it grows higher and stands more exposure than any other broad-leaved tree in Britain. The wood is reddish brown and tough, but only available in limited quantities and dimensions. The fruit makes an edible jelly. Fig. 5.
The Whitebeam (Sorbus aria Crantz); G. Mehlbeere; F. Alisier blanc, takes the place of the Rowan on the chalk downs of southern England, where it is useful as an ornamental or nurse tree. It is quick growing, with smooth grey bark and beautiful foliage, the simple leaves being green above and white and downy below. Clusters of creamy-white flowers in May are succeeded by scarlet berries in October. The berries must be stored in sand for eighteen months before sowing the seed. When fully ripe, these berries are edible. Fig. 6.
An interesting form showing a transition towards the Rowan, is the Scots Whitebeam (Sorbus intermedia Ehrh.), which occurs in Scotland and is distinguished by lobed leaves with serrated edges, downy beneath.
- Another rare form is the cornish whitebeam (S. latifolia Pers.), intermediate between the Common Whitebeam and the Wild Service. Its leaves are broad, with wedge-shaped lobes, and downy on their undersides.
The Wild Service (Sorbus torminalis Ehrh.) is a rare tree of southern England with broad-lobed smooth-surfaced leaves and an edible fruit, but similar in most respects to the Whitebeam. Fig. 7.
The Wild Medlar (Mespilus germanica L.); G. Mispel, is a rare shrub found in southern England, distinguished by spiny branches and oblong leaves which broaden towards the tip. The edible fruit bears the remnants of the long calyx.
The Hawthorn (Cratagus oxycantha L.); G. Hagedorn; F. Aubépine; W. Draenen wen; E. Sgeac Geal; Quickthorn, with its small many-lobed serrated-edged leaves, is familiar everywhere as a hedge plant, and in a wild state grows to a small tree some 20 feet high, with a rough brown bark. When they first open on the spiny branches in early April, the leaves are a bright emerald colour, but they darken through the summer and change to a dull brown before falling late in October. The flowers appear after the leaves, in conspicuous white or pink clusters, heavily scented and known as May blossom. The dull red fruit, or haw, is borne in clusters and ripens in November. An edible jelly may be made from it. Figs. 8, 9.
Haws must be stored in sand for eighteen months before sowing. There are many handsome cultivated varieties of the hawthorn.
In general, the wild trees of the rose tribe are very hardy, and much less subject to insect and fungal attack than the cultivated forms. They stand town conditions well, the pears, crab apples, and hawthorns being outstanding in this respect.
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