Many varieties of wild roses are North American natives. Some, like rugosa rose, are from other
parts of the world, but have escaped and proven very successful in North America.
Innumerable cultivated varieties exist as well. Unfortunately, though,
horticulturists as a rule have been more interested in the beauty of the blossoms than in
the sublime scent of roses, and the cultivars are nearly odorless.
Edibility: The fruit from many wild roses—”rose hips”—is edible,
and rich in vitamin C.
It can be cooked and used for
jam, but it is a challenging process, since the usable portion of the fruit is a thin layer above the seeds,
and the seeds are encased in hairlike fibers that can irritate the mouth and digestive tract if
accidentally eaten. Fruits are also made into rose hip tea.
Rose (Rosa) · 8/27/2007 · Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago, Oregon ≈ 22 × 15" (55 × 37 cm) Species not yet identified
Dwarf rose (Rosa) · 7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, Maine ≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm) Species not yet identified
6½-9½' (2-3 m) high. Stems have many stout curved thorns. The foliage smells like apples.
Rugosa rose is easy to identify. It is a shrub 3-6' (1-1.8 m) high, with stems that have zillions of variably sized thorns. The thorns are straight or nearly so, varying from ⅛-⅜" (3-10 mm) in length.
4-6' (1.2-1.8 m) tall, with erect, upright stems and stout, hooked thorns that are flattened at the base.
In loose clusters of one to eight, each 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 cm) around, pink or bright pink, with 5 petals.
White or pink, 2½-3½" (6.3-8.9 cm) around, with five petals. They may be solitary on in clusters, and appear from June to August.
Flowers are pink, solitary, 2-2½" (5-6.3 cm) around, with a yellow center.
Odd pinnate—occuring in clusters of 5 or 7 evenly sized opposite leaves with the odd leaf at the end of the branch. Individual leaves are about ½" (1.3 cm) long, oval, with double serrations.
Odd pinnate clusters of 5-9 leaflets, usually 7. Clusters are 3-6" (8-15 cm) long, and the individual leaflets are 1-1½" (3-4 cm) long. Leaves are shiny, dark green, and deeply veined (technically, rugose, hence the species name). Leaf undersides are light green from dense feltlike hairs.
Odd pinnate—in clusters of 7 to 9 leaflets, with the odd leaflet at the end of the branch. Each leaflet is 1-1¼" (2.5-3.2 cm) long, dark green, with serrations that point forward and are coarser than those of swamp rose.
Up to ⅞" (2.5 cm) in diameter, bright red-orange, sometimes elongated into ovals.
Glossy “rose hips” up to 1" (2.5 cm) around, ball-shaped but somewhat flattened, orange to deep red.
Bright red, ¼-½" (6.3-12 mm) in diameter
USDA Zones: 4-9
USDA Zones: 4-7
Dry, open or disturbed sites, with a preference for limestone (calcium-bearing) soils
Seacoasts, sandy roadsides, beaches, dunes
Moist to dry meadows, cleared areas, thickets, roadsides, freshwater (but not seawater) shores
Rose (Rosa) · 6/29/2008 · MacDonalds, Westford ≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) Species not yet identified
Rose (Rosa) · 7/23/2005 · MacDonalds, Westford, Massachusetts Species not yet identified
(Rosa) · 9/10/2011 · Ellen and Rod’s, Westford, Massachusetts ≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm) Species not yet identified
Rose (Rosa) · 8/27/2007 · Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago, Oregon Species not yet identified
Rosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.