Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

 

Multiflora Rose has a wide tolerance for various soil, moisture, and light conditions. It occurs in dense woods, along stream banks and roadsides and in open fields and pastures.  Multiflora rose is extremely prolific and can form impenetrable thickets that exclude native plant species.  Multiflora Rose is relatively widespread across PEI.

 

HISTORY

Originally introduced to North America from Asia as rootstock for ornamental roses.  It was later promoted by a variety of government agencies in both Canada and the US for its use in erosion control, as a “living fence” and to attract wildlife.  Seeds are spread widely by birds.

IDENTIFICATION

  • Medium-sized, thorny, perennial shrub
  • Can grow to 5m tall
  • Branches form wide arches that often touch the ground (this is how they spread)
  • Leaves divided into sharply toothed leaflets (from five to eleven)
  • White to pink showy flowers are in clusters of multiple flowers (hence the name) and are highly fragrant
  • Blooms in May or June
  • Small bright red hips, remain on the plant through the winter.