15 FEBRUARY 1935, Page 16

Fraternal Sepals

Gardeners owe a new sort of debt to those most useful of roses, the Poulsens, whose trusses of flowers keep our gardens gay for month after month. Mr. Page, 'the honorary secretary of the National Rose Society, has photographed the sepals of a Kerston Poulsen, and the picture (published in Gardening Illustrated) answers with singularly perfect detail the old Latin riddle : " Quinque sumus fratres unus barbatus et alter Inberbesque duo, stun semi-berbis ego."

The perfection of the illustration more than compensates for the mistakes in the Latin quotation (the rose is not a berberis !). The Poulsens, though they came late in the history of the rose, seem to have this curious difference in the various branches of the sepals in the very highest power. Two are very jagged, two have smooth edges and one is jagged only on one side. Can any botanist discover meaning or purpose in this per- sistent oddity of form ?