Sat, Apr 14, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Ecologist finds new multiflora rose on Dadu Mountain

NEW BREED:A university has also cultivated a new rose species in Changhua whose petals can change color in sunlight — from light pink to neon pink

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

A rose bush growing on Dadu Mountain in Greater Taichung that academics say is a new species of multiflora rose is seen on Wednesday.

Photo: Yu Po-lin, Taipei Times

A new species of multiflora rose bush reaching 30m in length, 5m in width and 5m in height was discovered on Dadu Mountain (大肚山), Greater Taichung, making it the largest type of multiflora rose bush in the country.

Wu Ching-shu (吳金樹), an ecologist at Dadu Mountain, said earlier this week that he uncovered a new genus of baby rose endemic to Taiwan, during his field studies on the mountain in April last year.

“Following my field studies on the then-largest wild baby rose bush in southern Dadu Mountain, I happened to come across a different genus almost five times larger in size than the one I had observed,” Wu said.

Unlike the other native species of Dadu Mountain, the Rosa luciae, the back of the leaves of the new genus, which Wu has provisionally named “Rosa Dadu,” appears to be villous, Wu said.

Wu said the Rosa luciae are commonly seen in Greater Taichung, Changhua County and Miaoli County, with the flowers blooming around the beginning of April.

Research shows that there are about 30 bushes of Rosa luciae nationwide, with about 20 on Dadu Mountain, Wu said, but added that the number could be higher.

The new species has grown about 100,000 buds, which would gradually blossom into white flowers with five heart-shaped petals. Its shrubs are entwined around trees and among brushwood, with the blossoms emanating the fragrance of roses and attracting bees, Wu said.

Yang Kuoh-cheng (楊國禎), an associate professor at Providence University’s ecology department, said the villous leaves differentiate the new species from the native genus Rosa Luciae, adding that the name “Rosa Dadu” commemorates the location of its discovery.

In related news, National Cheng Kung University said a new species of rose whose petals can change color in sunlight has been cultivated at a rose garden in Changhua County and could offer enormous potential business opportunities.

The new species, which is awaiting verification by the school, was bred by experts at the rose garden two years ago.

University officials said that when the bud starts to open, the edge of the petals gradually turn from light pink to neon pink.

When the flower fully opens, the color becomes much deeper as it is exposed to stronger sunlight, university officials said.

After verification is completed, the university will register the new species with the Council of Agriculture.

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