IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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This somewhat prickly shrub is about ½-3' tall, branching occasionally. It is usually erect, but taller plants sometimes sprawl. The prickles on the woody stems are slender and straight, and pairs of prickles often occur on opposite sides of the stems. On new growth, the hairless stems are either green or pinkish red, later turning brown. The alternate compound leaves usually consist of 5-7 leaflets (oddly pinnate); a few short stems may have only 3 leaflets. The central stem of each compound leaf is slightly hairy. Each ovate leaflet is about 2" long and 1" across, with strongly serrated margins. The underside of each leaflet is glabrous or only sparsely pubescent. At the base of each compound leaf are two prominent stipules, each terminating in a single pointed tip. The solitary flowers occur on pedicels with glandular hairs, and are about 2½-3" across. The flower buds also have glandular hairs. Each flower consists of 5 pink petals (rarely white), 5 green pointed sepals, numerous bright yellow stamens, and a pistil structure at the center of the flower that is flat and wide. There is a typical rose fragrance. The blooming period occurs during early summer and lasts about a month. Later, bright red rose hips appear that are often slightly flattened when compared to other wild roses, although not always. The root system consists of a deep central taproot that branches occasionally. From shallow rhizomes, this plant can spread vegetatively, forming small colonies.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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