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Rosa multiflora

Common Name(s):

This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Multiflora rose is a deciduous shrub in the Rosaceae family.  It was brought to the USA from Asia as a rootstock for many roses and its planting was encouraged as a shrub that would attract wildlife, help with erosion, and be used as a "living fence" to contain livestock.  It is a rapidly growing climbing, rambling shrub that can reach heights of 10' to 15' feet.  The branches are covered in sturdy curved prickles and it can easily form dense thickets in meadows, fields, or forest edges. 

The Multiflora Rose can be distinguished from other rose species by the fringed stipules at the base of each leaf.  The flowers are also small and white, compared to many wild Rosa species' pink flowers.  It can also be easily mistaken for various species of brambles (Rubus sp.) due to similar growth habits and prickles– these can be distinguished by the presence of red or purple stems in Rubrus species where the Multiflora Rose is consistently green.

There are virtually no herbivores that feed on this plant; that, coupled with its prolific seed production, its ability to colonize by rooting stem and to leaf out earlier than native plants in the spring, make it a fierce competitor.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant is invasive and alternative plantings should be considered.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Glandiflora'
Tags:
#invasive#fragrant flowers#white flowers#weedy#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#thickets#self-seeding#clumping
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Glandiflora'
Tags:
#invasive#fragrant flowers#white flowers#weedy#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#thickets#self-seeding#clumping
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rosa
    Species:
    multiflora
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern China, Korea, Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds and small mammals eat the rose hips as a fall and winter food source and disperse the seeds.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Rose
    Shrub
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/4" red hips appear in clusters late summer and persist into fall. High seed production (achenes; the hip itself is an accessory fruit).
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small showy fragrant white to light pink 5 petaled flowers (1/2 to 1 in wide) clustered in a corymb from late spring to early summer (April to June). Flowers have both male and female parts (perfect).
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate odd-pinnate compound leaves with 5-11 leaflets with serrate margins. Leaflets are ovate 1/2"-2" long with acute (pointed) tips. Petioles have fringed stipules which distinguishes them from other roses.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    Dark brown, streaks of light brown or gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Green to red arching canes
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Spines/Thorns
    Weedy