Eglantine is a species of rose, Rosa rubiginosa, commonly referred to as Sweet Briar. The genus Rosa consists of 20 to 30 species and subspecies of flowering plants.
Named after its numerous hook-shaped thorns, the shrub bears many 5-petal flowers tinged white to pink within, with a central raceme of yellow stamens. It’s native to Western Asia and Europe. Common names are sweetbrier, sweet briar, sweet briar, mosqueta, and briar.
It’s perhaps best known for its dark green leaves, which release a sweet scent (a hint of apple) after a downpour or when brushed by hand. It’s a dense, vase-shaped sucking shrub that usually grows 6 to 10 feet tall.
From late spring to early summer, pale pink 5-petalled flowers and spicy scents (up to 2 inches in diameter) with white centers appear. The flowers are followed by numerous orange-red hips, which ripen in fall and generally persist into winter. The aromatic young leaves of spring produce the best fragrance.