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Rosa setigera

Previously known as:

  • Rosa fenestrata
  • Rosa rubifolia
  • Rosa setigera var. elatior
  • Rosa setigera var. tomentosa
Phonetic Spelling
RO-zuh
Description

The climbing prairie rose is a medium-sized deciduous shrub that climbs like a vine by using its prickles. It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and has a wide-spreading or rambling habit. The long climbing or trailing stems require the support of a fence or arbor. With support, the shrub can grow to a height of 15 feet and a width of 10 feet. The stems have short, thick, and slightly curved or straight prickles. The spring and summer foliage is dark green compound leaves that have three leaflets. In the fall, the leaves are bronze, purple, and red. The flowers are mildly rose-scented and bloom from mid-June through July. They are pink to rose pink with five petals and golden stamens in the center. The flowers are followed by bright red rose hips in the fall and contain a cluster of achenes. The shrub is a member of the Rosaceae or rose family.

The climbing prairie rose is native to southeast Canada and the central and eastern United States. The shrub is typically found along roadsides, thickets, streams, pastures, and fence rows. This species has been in cultivation since 1810. 

The genus name, Rosa, is the Latin name for rose. The species name, setigera, means "bearing bristles". It is a combination of two Latin words. Seti is translated as "bristle," and gero means "bearing."

The climbing prairie rose prefers full sun, moist, and well-drained soils. It is intolerant to standing water and drought conditions. If grown in partial shade, there is decreased flower production and an increased risk of disease. If pruning is required, it is best done in late winter and early spring. The plant reproduces by seeds or suckering of the stems. It may also be propagated by cuttings and grafting.

Honeybees and bumblebees pollinate the flowers, and birds and small mammals enjoy the fruits from late summer to fall. 

The climbing prairie rose has been used for erosion control in difficult planting sites along highways because of its rambling and suckering habit. It may be also considered for informal gardens and hedges, native plant gardens, prairies, or meadows. Avoid using this shrub in a small garden setting.

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom:  Summer      Foliage:  Spring, Summer, and Fall      Fruits:  Fall

Quick ID Hints:

  • trailing, climbing shrub or vine with arching stems
  • greenish-red stems with prickles
  • alternate, dark green, palmately compound leaves with three leaflets
  • two-winged stipules or small leaf appendages are found at the base of each compound leaf
  • pink showy flowers with gold stamens in the center appear 
  • fruits appear in the fall and are red-greenish and globular and contain a cluster of achenes,

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: The plant is susceptible to flea beetles, aphids, scale, sawflies, borers, rose midges, leafhoppers, spider mites, and thrips. This species of rose is more resistant to natural diseases than most hybrid roses. Roses are typically susceptible to rust, black spot, rose rosette, and powdery mildew. The foliage and stems may be eaten by rabbits, deer, and goats. 

VIDEO created by Grant L. Thompson for “Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines for Landscaping” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University.

More information on Rosa.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Serena'
    thornless
'Serena'
Tags:
#arching#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#shrub#pink flowers#deciduous shrub#native shrub#climbing#cottage garden#cpp#NC native#spreading#red fruits#prickly#fruits fall#pollinator plant#green leaves#summmer flowers#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#roadside#fall color#native rose#vining rose#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Serena'
    thornless
'Serena'
Tags:
#arching#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#shrub#pink flowers#deciduous shrub#native shrub#climbing#cottage garden#cpp#NC native#spreading#red fruits#prickly#fruits fall#pollinator plant#green leaves#summmer flowers#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#roadside#fall color#native rose#vining rose#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Rosa
    Species:
    setigera
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    There is no known ethnobotanical data on this species.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern Canada, Central and Southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    Native: Canada--Ontario, United States--AL, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, IO, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WV, and WS. Introduced: Europe--Channel Islands
    Wildlife Value:
    The fruits attract small mammals and birds as a food source. Honeybees and bumblebees collect and enjoy the pollen from the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Rose
    Shrub
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Climbing
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit appears as a fleshy hip that encloses a cluster of achenes in the fall. The hip is reddish-green, globular, and about 1/3 inch in diameter. The fruits are eaten by birds and small mammals, and they disperse the seeds. The seeds are crescent to oval-shaped with a triangular cross-section.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The flower is usually light pink to rose pink, five-petaled, and measures 2 to 3 inches in diameter. In the center of the flower, numerous gold stamens form a small column. The flowers appear in clusters from mid-June to July and have a mild rose fragrance. There are usually leafy bracts below the flowers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are palmately compound with three leaflets and rarely five. The terminal leaflet has a long petiole. The margins of the leaflets are serrated. The upper surface is dark green. and the underside is paler. They are ovate to ovate-oblong and may be smooth or wooly especially along the veins on the undersides. They measure 1.25 to 3 inches long, 1 to 1.5 inches wide, and have a pointed tip. In the fall, the leaflets are bronze, purple, to reddish-pinkish yellow.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are greenish-red, long, smooth, and maybe arching or trailing. They have thick prickles that may be straight or slightly curved. The stems become woody over time, and white lenticels are present.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds