- Rosa, from the Latin rosa, "rose".
- acicularis, from the Latin acicula, "a small pin
for a headdress", hence "needle-like, prickly"
- Common Name, from its prickled stems; a direct translation of the
- Kingdom Plantae, the Plants
- Division Magnoliophyta, the Angiosperms (flowering plants)
- Class Magnoliopsida, the Dicotyledons
- Subclass Rosidae, the Roses
- Order Rosales, the Roses
- Family Rosaceae, the Roses; with Amelanchier
(Juneberries), Aronia (Chokeberries), Crataegus
(Hawthorns), Malus (Apples), Physocarpus
(Ninebark), Potentilla (Cinquefoils), Prunus
(Cherries & Plums), Rubus (Blackberries,
Dewberries, and Raspberries), Sorbus (Mountain
Ash), and Spiraea (Spirea)
- Taxonomic Serial Number: 24812
- Also known as Rosa sayi, Rosa bourgeauiana, Rosa
engelmanni, Rosa pyrifera, Rosa butleri
- Hybridizes with Prairie Wild Rose (Rosa arkansana), Smooth
Wild Rose (Rosa blanda), Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana),
and Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii); the first two Northwoods natives.
- A ¼, ½, ¾, º, é
- Ovary superior (within blossom) inferior (below
- A deciduous, flowering shrub about 4' tall
- Leaves alternate, pinnately compound with five to
nine leaflets and conspicuous stipules.
- Stems usually covered with slender, straight bristles
- Roots fine, in the upper 8" of soil, with deep roots
- Flowers pink or rose-colored with numerous stamens,
borne singly on lateral branches.
- Fruit globose, fleshy, red or orange-red hip with
10-30 achenes, each 0.15 to 0.2" long with stiff hairs along one side.
- Identifiable as
- Distinguished from
- Field Marks
- Alaska to Newfoundland,
- Circumpolar in boreal forest. Alaska to Quebec and New England, south
to British Columbia, New Mexico, the Dakotas, and the Lake States of
Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
- A characteristic species of boreal forests under White Spruce (Picea
glauca), and relatively open Black Spruce (Picea
mariana); very common in northern hardwood forests of Paper
papyrifera), Aspen (Populus
tremuloides), and in transitional zones between birch and spruce
forest. Less frequent in closed black spruce forest.
- Near the Great Lakes, found on sandy and gravelly shores, and sandy
woodlands with Jack Pine (Pinus
banksiana) and oak (Quercus spp.); also on rocky ridges
and shores, in moist thickets, in swamps, and in openings in conifer
- Moderately shade tolerant.
- On Black Spruce sites, may appear as sprouts on the freshly disturbed
or burned site. It can spread rapidly by stem and root shoots and reaches
greatest density during the tall shrub-sapling stage or under succession
Aspen. It decreases as the canopy closes.
- In White Spruce stands, sprouts following disturbance, becoming a
successional dominant under various mixtures of Aspen, Birch, and White
Spruce. Finally, it is an understory dominant in the climax stand.
- Moderately fire resistant. Can sprout from the base of fire killed
stems or from rhizomes. Well adapted for sprouting after fire because
rhizomes are located in mineral soil.
- Severe fires which remove organic soil kill shallow rhizomes, leaving
alive only those rhizome portions growing in mineral soil.
- Although recovery following fire is primarily vegetative, roses germinate
from on-site and off-site seeds as well. Seeds are fire resistant, and
germination may be stimulated by fire. Fire usually kills aboveground
parts of prickly rose.
- In the Great Lakes region, less frequent on severely burned sites
than on lightly burned sites, although its degree of dominance is similar
for burned and unburned sites. Sprouts after fire in Black Spruce, but
it is not competitive with Black Spruce.
- Trees: Paper Birch (Betula
papyrifera), White Spruce (Picea
glauca), Black Spruce (Picea
mariana), Jack Pine (Pinus
banksiana), Quaking Aspen (Populus
- Ground Covers:
- Mammals: Important food source for grouse, showshoe
hares, and small rodents.White-tailed deer browse on wild roses (Rosa
spp.) as do moose; black bear eat prickly rose hips in fall. Wild
rose hips are eaten by songbirds and small mammals; upland gamebirds
eat buds as well as hips. Larger fur-bearing mammals such as bears,
rabbits, and beaver eat hips, stems, and foliage of roses.
- Birds: Wild rose hips are probably not as palatable
to birds as other fruits, remaining on the shrubs, providing an important
- Native Americans made medicinal tea from wild roses which was used
as a remedy for diarrhea and stomach maladies. They sometimes smoked
the inner bark. The Crow used a solution made by boiling rose roots
in a compress to reduce swelling. The same solution was drunk for mouth
bleeding and gargled as a remedy for tonsillitis and sore throats; vapor
from this solution was inhaled for nose bleeding.
- Attractive ornamentals but need careful pruning.
- Juice extracted from hips by boiling and used to make jellies and
syrups. Pulp from the hips, after seeds and skins are removed, used
to make jams, marmalades, and catsup. Other juice or fruit is sometimes
added for flavoring.
- Rose hips may be preserved by drying and then ground into a powder
that may be added to baked goods.
- Green hips can be peeled and cooked, and young shoots have been eaten
as a potherb.
- Leaves, flowers, and buds can be used to make tea; teas made from
flowers and buds may relieve diarrhea. Flower petals are also sometimes
eaten raw and may be used for perfume.
- Hips are high in vitamin A and and are a winter source of vitamin
- Sexually by seed
- Assexually by
- Reproduces by seed and vegetatively by rhizomes
- Vegetative regeneration by means of widespread rhizomes.
A single clone with 8 to 11 aboveground stems linked by a horizontal
rhizome can cover 12 to 24 square yards. Because rhizomes sprout after
fire and other disturbance, clones may live for hundreds of years.
- Flowers and sets seed frequently in open communities and infrequently
under a canopy.
- Seed dispersal by small mammals, song birds, and grouse.
- Seeds exhibit deep dormancy and require warm stratification for the
initial stages of germination, followed by cold stratification for germination
to continue. While most seeds germinate following snowmelt the second
spring after seed set, germination of one seed crop may spread over
- Achenes of prickly rose need both warm and cold stratification for
- Can be successfully started from rhizome, softwood, and hardwood cuttings.
Cuttings that include both rhizome and stem tissue give the best results.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 3 (average minimum annual temperature -40ºF)
- Cultural Requirements
- Size 12"-18"W x 12"-18"H
- Growth rate
- Good for
- Cultivars include
- Cultivars and species available by mail order from specialty suppliers
or at local nurseries
- Susceptible to leaf rusts, leaf spots, powdery mildew, stem canker,
and crown gall.
- Foliage very sensitive to fumigation by sulphur dioxide.
- Recommended for revegetation on moist to wet sites; a good choice
for erosion control, especially since the prickly stems may discourage
- Tolerant of acidic situations, adapted to a wide range of soil textures
and moisture levels, and rapidly covers an area.
Last updated on
31 August, 2004