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DescriptionThis is a shrub about 3-8' tall that has branching woody stems. These stems are erect, ascending, or arching, and they are often crooked. The stems are light green, reddish green, dark red, or brown; they are terete, glabrous, and prickly. The prickles are widely spaced, occurring individually or in pairs. Paired prickles occur either on opposite sides of the stems, or they form a 90º angle from each other. The typical prickle is about ¼" long, curved, and rather enlarged at the base. Alternate compound leaves occur along young stems; they are odd-pinnate with 5-9 leaflets (usually there are 7). Individual leaflets are 1¼-2½" long and ½-1" across; they are broadly elliptic or ovate and serrated along their margins. The upper surface of the leaflets is medium to dark green and glabrous, while the lower surface is pale green and either glabrous or short-pubescent. The terminal leaflet has a petiolule (basal stalklet) up to ½" long, while the lateral leaflets are nearly sessile. At the base of the petiole of each compound leaf, there is a pair of narrow stipules about 1" long that have smooth revolute margins; they become less revolute toward their acute tips. The upper stems occasionally produce either individual or small corymbs of 2-4 flowers on short branches. Individual flowers are 1½-3" across, consisting of 5 pale pink to rosy pink petals, 5 green sepals, a ring of many yellow stamens, and a flattened cluster of pistils that is yellow, pink, or reddish orange. The petals are oval-obcordate in shape, while the sepals are lanceolate and glandular-hairy. The pedicels of the flowers are also glandular-hairy. The blooming period occurs from early to late summer for about 1-2 months. The flowers have a sweet fragrance that is typical of roses. The flowers are replaced by globoid fruits (rose hips) about 1/3" across that become red at maturity. The dried sepals on the fruits are initially widely spreading, but they are later deciduous and fall to the ground. The surface of the fruits is glandular-hairy, although it may become glabrous with age. The interior of each fruit is firm, fleshy, and slightly dry; it contains several bony seeds. The root system produces woody rhizomes. Vegetative colonies sometimes develop from the rhizomes.