Rose Rosa spp.
Family: Rosaceae (Rose)
Branching: Alternate

This group of plants is very well-known to most people.  Several species are commonly planted in gardens as well as several native species.  They are nearly always thorny and can look quite similar (though the amount and size of thorns varies greatly).  They also all bear the typical "rose hip" fruit.  The native species are confusing, though a few stand out.   All tend to have red stems and buds, and thin leaf scars that half-encircle the twig

A thorny Rose branch with curved thorns and red buds and stems

A smaller branch, the same species as above

The winter twig of a native Rose (most likely Prickly Rose Rosa acicularis)

Another view of the same plant.  Notice the leaf scar half encircling the stem.

Rose fruits

Notice the two sizes of thorns.  This is common on Roses, as well as Rubus genus and Gooseberries

Roses are usually much thornier near the base of the stem

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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