Rosa stellata ssp. mirifica (Greene) W.H. Lewis
Vernacular Name: Desert Rose
Description: Woody shrub to 70.0 cm in height with stems not stellate-tomentose, but with many shiny to cream colored or ivory colored internodal spines; leaves commonly 3 foliate or trifoliate, but in this subspecies often 5 leaflets, 8.0 to 15.0 mm in length, the petioles glabrate, stipules pubescent or glabrate, entire or with 1 or 2 teeth; flowers terminal and solitary, petals pink, the flowering branches with many gland-tipped bristles; hypanthiun 12.0 to 15.0 mm in diameter, rather than 8.0 to 10.0 as in R. stellata ssp. stellata.
Distribution: Thought to be uncommon on rocky slopes in the White and Sacramento Mountains of southcentral New Mexico, including Lincoln, Sierra and Otero counties at 1,675-2,280 m (5,500-7,500 ft) in elevation. Also, weakly described from western Texas and southern Arizona.
Plants Seen or Cited:
NMSU: A total of 18 sheets of R. stellata, of which two were identified as R. stellata ssp. mirifica. One sheet of the two should probably receive special consideration - collected on west base of Salinas Peak, at the north end of San Andreas Mts., Grapevine Canyon, in the NE corner of Sierra County, T11S, R4E, Sec. 35, SW 1/4, 1,860 m in elevation, on limestone along arroyo, R. Spellenberg, 26 May 1988.
Comments: I do not understand the basis for the separation of the subspecies. If additional field collections support the distinction of this subspecies from other subspecies, and the range remains limited, this taxon should be treated as uncommon, but not rare.
Status: Do not retain this taxon as rare.
Carter, J.L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico
Correll, D.S. and M.C. Johnson. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas
Kearney, T.H. and R.H. Peebles. 1951. Arizona flora
Martin, W.C. and C.R. Hutchins. 1980. A flora of New Mexico
Powell, A.M. 1988. Trees & Shrubs of Trans-Pecos Teaxas
Information Compiled: Jack Carter, 1997