I’m at risk of entangling myself in this post with its numerous images and explanations. But perhaps that’s less troubling than the danger of adventurous embrace in the arms of Rosa longicuspis Bertol itself!

First, in our garden near Beechworth, it’s a shrub-become-ecosystem, yielding food and harbour for all walks of life, from bees native and European to eastern spinebills, superb wrens, firetail finches, orb spiders, Boulenger’s skink and myriad insects.

Its flowering and fruiting cycle is likewise abundant. Its green-brown sepals bristling with red hairs peel to a cream bud. That opens with silky, jersey cow-coloured petals and gold-flame anther-and-stamen electrics. Then across a week the flower fades to white, the stamens to lemon and anthers to brown. And all of this happens en masse, from pannicles of 15 blooms or more, on the face of a 42 square-metre bush.

R. longicuspis was described in western botany in 1861. It grows in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, formerly called Assam, in north-eastern India, south of Bhutan and Tibet. The indispensable @ids.dendrology website treesandshrubsonline.org reports that @kewgardens herbarium has no cultivated specimens from Indian source material, but recounts that English botanist, collector and spy Frank Kingdon-Ward sent seed collected from the Naga Hills in NE India in 1927 and possibly from the Assam Himalaya, near Shergaon, east of Bhutan, in 1935.

R. longicuspis in autumn yields wonderful pannicle hips, shown at two o’clock in 9. (posted April 2020). At 10 o’clock are hips of R. brunonii, the Himalayan musk rose – see flowers in 10. – to which R. longicuspis is related.

@historic_roses_group and @michaelrosarian post excellent information about species and heritage roses.