Blousy imposter?

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Noel Falconer (Letters, 29 August) decries the fact that as someone who lives in France he is disqualified from voting on the freedom of the land of his birth and of his ancestors.

He quotes the poem by Hugh MacDiarmid (“The rose of the world is not for me/ I want for my part/ Only the little white rose of Scotland/ That smells sharp and sweet/ and breaks the heart.”) as summing up his feelings better than he himself could.

A picture of a white rose is shown to accompany his letter, but surely the white rose the poet was speaking of is more than likely to be the burnet rose (Rosa spinosissima), with its pure white flowers and sweet scent that grows on poor, sandy soil near the sea but can also be found on inland heaths up to 1,000ft. It is an example of a plant of real hardiness that can thrive in the worst of conditions and not, as shown, some blousy, cultivated, and even possibly English relative. Maybe an expert in the field would care to advise.

Neil McKinnon

Glenalmond, Perth

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