How can we determine which of the roses are which in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park forest communities?

Part 2

What is taxonomy? Part 1 | Rosids Part 2 | genus Rosa Part 3
| Rose Species Part 4 | Rose reproduction Part 5 | Native Rose Plant Ethnobiology Part 6 | Bibliography
| New Wild Roses of Saskatchewan and How to Tell them Apart

While exploring taxonomy in Part 1,  ‘Rosids’ is the most challenging taxonomic category to describe, and needed a chapter of its own.  This is for information only, and it is the next two chapters which delve into the Genus ‘Rosa’ and the Species ‘R. Acicularlis Lindl., R. arkansana, R. woodsii’ which shall enable identification of the roses existing at Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park.

Taxonomic Ranks, and Binomial Name Genus and Species

In part 1, the taxonomic key began with

• Kingdom: Plantae.

• Clade: Angiosperms.

• Clade: Eudicots.

• Clade: Rosids. “Clear synapomorphies for the rosids have not been identified, although most rosids share several morphological and anatomical features, such as nuclear endosperm development, reticulate pollen exine, generally simple perforations of vessel end-walls, alternate intervessel pitting, mucilaginous leaf epidermis, and two or more whorls of stamens, plus ellagic acid”~Doug Soltis et al “Synapomorphies remain to be well identified for the group, but in general features such as two-to-several whorls of stamens, reticulate pollen, and nuclear endosperm are shared by most members.”~Thomas N. Taylor et al.

A synapomorphy is a shared (“syn”) apomorphy that distinguishes a clade, class or grouping from other organisms. Two or more plants share this same characteristic creating this special class. More than one descendant plants who show the same observable characteristics from an ancestral plant who mutated the new chacteristic by evolution.  The ancient historical ancestors did not display the trait at all.   The etymology of synapomorphy comes from the Greek “syn” meaning shared, “apo” meaning away from, and “morphe” meaning form or shape. Two or more different types of plants have a shared evolutionary characteristic which is received through reproduction.  This new characteristic sets the new group of taxa apart from the plant’s  historic form and traits .

Morphology is the study “logy” of the form or structure “morphē” and anatomical means the study or knowledge of the structure and function of the human body” (learned by dissection) from the Latin anatomia, from Greek, from ana- ‘up’ + tomia ‘cutting’ (from temnein ‘to cut’).

“The three principal types of endosperm formation found in angiosperms—nuclear, cellular, and helobial—are classified on the basis of when the cell wall forms. In nuclear endosperm formation, repeated free-nuclear divisions take place; if a cell wall is formed, it will form after free-nuclear division. “~Dennis Stevenson. Nuclear is that which pertains to the centre around which something is enveloped or organised from Latin nuculeāris (“relative to what pertains to small nut”). The tissue surrounding the embryo of flowering plant seeds is the endosperm from ενδο / endo meaning inside, within along with σπέρμα / seed, sow and σπείρω / spearo to disperse.

Reticulate means being Network-like in form or appearance from Latin reticulatus “having a net-like pattern,” from reticulum “little net.” Exine is the decay-resistant outer coating or layer of a pollen grain or spore from ex- ‘out’ and Greek, in- ‘fiber’.

Vascular plants have lignified plant tissues for moving water and minerals around the plant.  Vessels, also called trachea, in botany, are the water or fluid conducting tissue of plants. Vessels have openings at both ends that connect individual vessel elements to form a continuous tubular vessel. These end openings are called perforations or perforation plates. They have a variety of shapes: the most common are the simple perforation (a simple opening)

The side walls of a vessel element have pits which are thin portions of the cell wall that adjacent cells can communicate or exchange fluid through.

Inter- between or interactive, between and Vessel container, receptacle, repository, holder.

Mucilage is a viscous or sticky substance found in vegetable material derived from Latin mucilago ‘musty juice.’ Leaves are thin, flat organs responsible for the photosynthesis of the plant. Epiderm means the outer layer of tissue in a plant from the etymology late Latin from Greek, from epi ‘upon’ + derma ‘skin’.

Whorl circular arrangement of stamens round a stem of a plant. The stamens being the male fertilizing organ of a flower, typically consisting of a pollen-containing anther and a filament.

Ellagic acid is a natural phenol antioxidant found in numerous fruits and vegetables. Phenol is a chemical compound, and an antioxidant is a substance that reduces damage due to oxygen

Rosids are a monophyletic group or of a “one-tribe-origin.” Monophyletic is a group of plants descended from a one single common evolutionary ancestor, taxon or ancestral group, especially one not shared with any other group. Monophyly has roots in two Ancient Greek words μόνος (mónos), meaning “alone, only, unique”, and φῦλον (phûlon), meaning “genus, species.”

Substituting the common or layman definitions above for the botanical terms which Soltis and Taylor use to define a rosid would read;

Rosids have shared plant characteristics and forms shown in current child plants from a single ancestral parent. The common traits are 1/ central formation and development of the tissue surrounding the embryo for the flowering plant seeds, 2/ a netlike form or appearance of the outer coating to the pollen grain, 3/ end openings at both the ends of the water conducting tubes, 4/ alternate water conducting tubes which have thin portions of the cell where adjacent cells can exchange water and fluids, 5/ a sticky layer on the top surface of the leaves, 6/ two or more circular arrangements of stamens, and 7/ contain a natural plant chemical compound which reduces damage to the plant due to oxygen.

In part 1, the taxonomic key continued on with

• Order: Rosales.

• Family: Rosaceae.

Genus: Rosa.

Species: R. Acicularlis Lindl., R. arkansana, R. woodsii

  • Botany Glossary Matching Sheet
  • Questions and activities
    • What is the benefit of learning the Latin and Greek words which are the roots of botanical terms?
    • Can you create a botanical glossary of the words in this article?
    • What would your botanical glossary look like if the botanical terms and words were based on a different language rather than Greek and Latin roots?
    • Are biological scientific terms and classifications useful, or would it be more beneficial to use common words as descriptors? Why or why not?
    • Doug Soltis et al wrote this sentence; “Clear synapomorphies for the rosids have not been identified, although most rosids share several morphological and anatomical features, such as nuclear endosperm development, reticulate pollen exine, generally simple perforations of vessel end-walls, alternate intervessel pitting, mucilaginous leaf epidermis, and two or more whorls of stamens, plus ellagic acid.”  How would you say it?
    • What causes plants to evolve, and change shape, characteristics, and features?
    • Explain how particular selective pressures acting on the native rose plants could influence the changes in the plants over time?  Would native rose plants change because of flora and fauna in the area, fires or other disturbances, climate change criteris including drought or flooding, pollution, change in pollinating insects?
    • What are environmental factors which may change the plant morphology.
    • What are the plant traits inherited from its ancestors for each taxonomic classification?
    • The category or clade of Rosids continues to break down into the following plant taxonomy as shown in the diagram.  Native roses are part of Rosales which are in the nitrogen-fixing clade which contains a high number of actinorhizal plants.  Are native rose plants classified as Rosales similar to Fabales?  Are they similar to Cucurbitales?
    • How do water and nutrients flow through plants?
    • Interpret and examine the presented phylogenetic trees to understand how the native rose plant fits in amid other plant organisms.

Phylogeney of Rosids from Wikipedia


For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

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Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
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You Tube Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

“St. Barbe’s unique capacity to pass on his enthusiasm to others. . . Many foresters all over the world found their vocations as a result of hearing ‘The Man of the Trees’ speak. I certainly did, but his impact has been much wider than that. Through his global lecture tours, St. Barbe has made millions of people aware of the importance of trees and forests to our planet.” Allan Grainger

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nation saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

“The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential to earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the “Skin” of the earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life.”Richard St. Barbe Baker

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