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Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands

JPG -- species photo

Little Rose (Chamaerhodos erecta)

All but the extreme southeastern corner of North Dakota is within the range of little rose. Overall, the plant is a northern species, ranging from Alaska and Saskatchewan south to Colorado and Utah.

Little rose is a biennial, living for two years before producing seed and dying. Plants stand about six to fourteen inches tall. A dense cluster of larger basal leaves is formed, with smaller leaves up the stem. Leaves are finely divided into narrow segments. The upper half of the plant is much branched. There, in the leaf axils and atop the branches, are found several dozen to several hundred white flowers only about one-tenth inch wide.

Look for little rose in sandy or gravelly soils in dry pastures. The species can withstand heavy grazing. There are no known economic uses for the plant.

Chamaerhodos is a genus in the rose family (Rosaceae). Rose is an ancient Latin name. The family contains about 3000 species; many such as spiraea, mountain ash, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and apple are horticulturally important. The generic name was compounded from the Greek chamai "on the ground" or "low" and rhodon "a rose". The specific name erecta means erect in botanical Latin. Little rose was first described for science by the great Swedish naturalist and father of modern botany Carl von Linne (Linnaeus) (1707-1778).

Return to Rosaceae (The Rose Family)
Next Species -- Purple Avens (Geum triflorum)

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