Manipur Wild-Tea Rose
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Manipur Wild-Tea Rose
ative Photo: S. Sonohara
Common name: Manipur Wild-tea Rose
Botanical name: Rosa gigantea    Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Synonyms: Rosa macrocarpa

Manipur Wild-tea Rose, the beautiful species, was discovered by Sir George Watt in Manipur in 1882. As the botanical name implies, this is a huge species of rose, infact the largest. Shade tolerant and once blooming, 5" light yellow single, very fragrant flowers. An extensive climber, running over trees and forming at first straight unbranched stems, as thick as the arm, younger ones with a soft grey-brown bark and here and there short sharp hooked prickles; above completely ramified until it envelopes the trees on which it is found. It thus produces a truly superb effect, and, when seen from a distance, causes the trees to appear like magnolias, with large yellow flowers. The leaves when young have a rich brownish green tint; when older they become pale shining green; leaflets 5-7, ovate-oblong, acuminate, shortly and sharply serrate, the terminal one on a long petiole (1 in.), the others almost sessile; stipules very long, linear, adnate throughout their length (except their spreading terminal arms) and thus extending along the greater portion of the leaf-stalk. The fleshy hip or fruit is eaten by the Nagas, becomes as large as a small apple, and is smooth, glabrous, yellow (certainly never' red, as has been said of the species grown in Europe) and sweetly scented.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation.

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