Genus: Rosa

Rosa rugosa
Rosa rugosa Thunb.

By Science Staff

Not peer reviewed

Last Modified 03/11/2013

Back to Rosaceae


Rosa L., Sp. Pl. 1: 491. 1753. Gen. Pl., ed. 5, 217. 1754. LECTOTYPE: Rosa centifolia L., designated by Britton & Brown (1913), Rosa cinnamomea L., Britton & Wilson (1923), or Rosa canina L., Rehder (1949).

Key to the species of Rosa

1. Styles united into a column, protruding from the orifice of the hypanthium; stems climbing or trailing...2
1. Styles distinct, only slightly if at all exserted, usually only the stigma is exserted; erect to arching, usually colonial shrubs...4

2. Flowers pink; leaflets 3 or 5; stipules entire or nearly so...Rosa setigera
2. Flowers white; leaflets 7 or 9...3

3. Stipules pectinate and glandular-toothed...Rosa multiflora
3. Stipules dentate...Rosa wichuriana

4. Outer sepals pinnatifid or at least with narrow lateral lobes...5
4. Outer sepals entire...7

5. Lower leaf surfaces glabrous or nearly so; leaf teeth glandless...Rosa canina
5. Lower leaf surfaces glandular; leaf teeth glandular...6

6. Styles pubescent; sepals erect and persistant in fruit...Rosa eglanteria
6. Styles glabrous; sepals soon deciduous...Rosa micrantha

7. Leaflets rugose, densely soft-pubescent beneath; young branches, thorns, leaf rachises, and pedicels densely pubescent...Rosa rugosa
7. Leaflets not rugose, glabrous, or slightly pubescent beneath; young branches, thorns, and often other parts glabrous or stipitate-glandular...8

8. Infrastipular thorns strong and slightly curved toward the base of the plant; internodal thorns or prickles absent or occasional at base of plant...11
8. Infrastipular thorns absent or straight; internodal spines often of similar shape and size...9

9. Sepals persistent and connivent as a beak on fruit; flowers borne on lateral branches from stems of previous year; prickles absent or confined to base...Rosa blanda
9. Sepals deciduous in fruit; flowers borne on current year’s stems; prickles found throughout the stem...10

10. Stems with hundreds or thousands of prickles; stipules herbaceous, expanded above...Rosa nitida
10. Stems with few prickles; stipules fine, linear...Rosa carolina

11. Pedicels and hypanthia smooth, glabrous; sepals erect on the mature fruit...12
11. Pedicels and hypanthia glandular-hispid; sepals widely spreading on mature fruit...13

12. Flowers double...Rosa majalis
12. Flowers single...Rosa cinnamomea

13. Leaves finely serrate; stipules firm, linear, or with parallel sides...Rosa palustris
13. Leaves coarsely serrate; stipules herbaceous, dilated toward the apex...Rosa virginiana

List of Rosa Species

References to Rosa

  • Anderson, E.; Judd, W. H. 1932. Rosa rugosa and its hybrids. Bull. Popular Inform. Arnold Arbor. 6: 29-35.
  • Banasiak, S. E.; Meiners, S. J. 2009. Long term dynamics of Rosa multiflora in a successional system. Biological Invasions 11: 215-224.
  • Bartgis, R. 1991. Cypripedium candidum and six other additions to the known flora of Maryland. Castanea 56: 220-1.
  • Becker, H. F. 1963. The fossil record of the genus Rosa. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 90: 99-110.
  • Belder, J. 1980. Nomenclatural difficulties of Rosa virginiana. Gartn.-Bot. Briefe 63: 32-3. (In German; English summary)
  • Bell, L. 1972. Rose signatures. Morris Arbor. Bull. 23: 59-66.
  • Best, G. N. 1890. Remarks on the group Cinnamomeae of the North American roses. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 17: 142-9.
  • Bond, T. E. T. 1945. On sepal phyllody in roses and some related phenomena. Experimental data and a quantitative interpretation. New Phyt. 44: 220-30.
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1937. Introduction a l'etude du genre Rosa. Les caracteres morphologiques passes en revue au point de vue de leur valeur pour la systematique. Bull. Jard. Bot. Etat 14: 241-73. (In French; see also revisions of certain sects. in vols. 9, 10, 12, 13, 14.)
  • Boutineau, E. 1883. De la fleur des Rosacees. Contribution a l'etude des ovaires inferes. Paris. , 44 pages.
  • Boynton, K. R. 1931. Rosa rugosa. Addisonia 16: 91-2 [19-20], pl. 522.
  • Bruneau, A. 2007. Phylogenetic relationships in the genus Rosa: new evidence from chloroplast DNA sequences and an appraisal of current knowledge. Syst. Bot. 32: 366-378.
  • Burbeck, J. H. 1975. Wild roses of the northeast. Amer. Rose 23(1): 17.
  • Christen, D. C.; Matlack, G. R. 2009. The habitat and conduit functions of roads in the spread of three invasive plant species. Biological Invasions 11: 453-465. (Microstegium vimenium, Rosa multiflora, Tussilago farfara)
  • Cockerell, T. D. A. 1929. The evolution and classification of roses. Torreya 29: 97-103.
  • Crepin, F. 1889. Sketch of a new classification of roses. J. Roy. Hort. Soc. 11: 217-28.
  • Crepin, F. 1896. Rosae americanae I. Observation upon the genus Rosa in North America. Bot. Gaz. 22: 1-34.
  • Crepin, F. 1869. Primitia monographiae rosarum. Materiaux pour servir a l'histoire des roses. 856 pp. Gand [Ghent], Belgium. 1869-1882.
  • Crepin, F. 1887. Nouvelles remarques sur les roses americaines. Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique 26: 40-9. (See also Ibid. 28(2):18-33. 1889.)
  • Crocker, W.; Barton, L. V. 1931. After-ripening, germination, and storage of certain rosaceous seeds. Contr. Boyce Thompson Inst. Pl. Res. 3: 385-404.
  • Decker, S. R. 1991. Nutritional evaluation of winter foods of wild turkeys. Canad. J. Zoology 69: 2128-2132.
  • Dirr, M. A. 1978. Tolerance of seven woody ornamentals to soil-applied sodium chloride. J. Arboric. 4(7): 162-5.
  • Drummond, B. A. 2005. The selection of native and invasive plants by frugivorous birds in Maine. Northeastern Naturalist 12: 33-44.
  • Eckardt, N. 1987. Element stewardship abstract for Rosa multiflora - rambler rose.
  • Erlanson, E. W. 1934. Experimental data for a revision of the North American wild roses. Bot. Gaz. 96: 197-259.
  • Erlanson, E. W. 1928. Ten new American species and varieties of Rosa. Rhodora 30: 109-21.
  • Erlanson, E. W. 1929. Cytological conditions and evidences for hybridity in North American wild roses. Bot. Gaz. 87: 443-506.
  • Erlanson, E. W. 1931. Sterility in wild roses and in some species hybrids. Genetics 16: 75-96.
  • Erlanson, E. W. 1938. Phylogeny and polyploidy in Rosa. New Phyt. 37: 72-81.
  • Erlanson, E. W. 1929. The phenological procession in North American wild roses in relation to the polyploid series. Pap. Michigan Acad. Sci. 11: 137-50.
  • Evans, J. E. 1983. A literature review of management practices for multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora). Natural Areas Journal 3: 6-15.
  • Fagerlind, F. 1951. Influence of the pollen-giver on the production of hips, achenes and seeds in the "Canina roses". Acta Horti Berg. 16: 121-68.
  • Fagerlind, F. 1958. Hip and seed formation in newly formed Rosa polyploids. Acta Horti Berg. 17: 229-56.
  • Fernald, M. L. 1918. Rosa blanda and its allies of northern Maine and adjacent Canada. Rhodora 20(233): 90-6.
  • Fernald, M. L. 1948. Some minor forms of Rosa. Rhodora 50(594): 145-7.
  • Flory, W. S. 1950. Pollen condition in some species and hybrids of Rosa with a consideration of associated phylogenetic factors. Virginia J. Sci. 1: 11-59.
  • Gleason, H. A. 1945. A botanist looks at a rose. J. New York Bot. Gard. 46: 215-20.
  • Grossi, C.; Raymond, O.; Jay, M. 1998. Flavonoid and enzyme polymorphisms and taxonomic organisation of Rosa sections: Carolinae, Cinnamomeae, Pimpinellifoliae and Synstylae. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 26: 857-871.
  • Gustafsson, Å. 1944. The constitution of the Rosa canina complex. Hereditas 30: 405-28.
  • Harkness, J. 1980. Rose classification. The Plantsman 2(3): 179-81.
  • Heath, P. V. 1992. The type of Rosa carolina Linne. Calyx 2(2): 80.
  • Heath, P. V. 1997. Commentary on the proposal to reject Rosa eglanteria Linne, with supplementary proposals to amend and authorize. Calyx 5: 121-6.
  • Herring, P. 1925. Classifications of Rosa. Dansk Bot. Ark. 4(9): 1-24.
  • Herron, P.M. 2007. Invasive plants and their ecological strategies: prediction and explanation of woody plant invasion in New England. Diversity and Distributions 13: 633-644.
  • Huebner, C. D. 2003. Vulnerability of oak-dominated forests in West Virginia to invasive exotic plants: temporal and spatial patterns of nine exotic species using herbarium records and land classification data. Castanea 68: 1-14.
  • Hunter, J. C.; Mattice, J. A. 2002. The spread of woody exotics into the forests of a northeastern landscape, 1938-1999. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 129: 220-227.
  • Hurst, C. C. 1941. Notes on the origin and evolution of our garden roses. I. Ancient garden roses (2000 B.C. to A.D. 1800). J. Roy. Hort. Soc. 66: 73-82.
  • Hurst, C. C. 1941. Notes on the origin and evolution of our garden roses. II. Modern garden roses (1800-1940). J. Roy. Hort. Soc. 66: 242-50, 282-9.
  • Jackson, G. 1934. The morphology of the flowers of Rosa and certain closely related genera. Amer. J. Bot. 21: 453-66.
  • Jackson, G. 1926. The morphology and anatomy of the flowers of Rosa and certain closely related genera. M.S. Thesis Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY56 figs. + 33 p.
  • Jarvis, C. E. 1992. Seventy-two proposals for the conservation of types of selected Linnaean generic names, the report of Subcommittee 3C on the lectotypification of Linnaean generic names. Taxon 41: 552-83.
  • Jesse, L. C. 2006. Insect pollinators of the invasive plant, Rosa multiflora (Rosaceae), in Iowa, USA. Weed Biol. Manag. 6: 235-240.
  • Jesse, L. C. 2010. Quantifying the levels of sexual reproduction and clonal spread in the invasive plant, Rosa multiflora. Biological Invasions 12: 1847-1854.
  • Jessen, K. 1958. On hydrochorous dissemination of Rosa rugosa and other species of the genus. Bot. Tidsskr. 54: 353-66. (In Danish; English summary)
  • Kellogg, A. A. 2011. Morphological studies of developing Rubus prickles suggest that they are modified glandular trichomes. Botany 89: 217-226.
  • Kemp, J. R. et al. 1993. Floral development of Rosa setigera. Canad. J. Bot. 71(1): 74-86.
  • Kemp, J. R.; Kevan, P. G.; Posluszny, U. 1994. Morphological differences and changes of the gynoecium in short-lived flowers of Rosa setigera Michaux and their relationships to dioecy. Int. J. Plant Sci. 154(4): 550-6.
  • Kevan, P. G. et al. 1990. Cryptic dioecy and insect pollination in Rosa setigera Michx. (Rosaceae), a rare plant of Carolinian Canada. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 40(3): 229-43.
  • Koopman, W. J. M. 2008. AFLP markers as a tool to reconstruct complex relationships: a case study in Rosa (Rosaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 95: 353-366.
  • Kuhns, L. J.; Fretz, T. A. 1979. Potential use of leaf enzymes for identification of roses. Ohio Rep. Res. Devel. Agric. Home Econ. Nat. Res. 64(4): 51-3. (Ref. in Bibliogr. Agric., 44(3-4): 021561. 1980.)
  • LaFleur, N. 2009. Does frugivory by European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) facilitate germination in invasive plants? J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 136: 332-341.
  • Lewis, W. H. 1958. A monograph of the genus Rosa in North America. III. R. setigera. Southw. Naturalist 3: 154-74.
  • Lewis, W. H. 1957. A monograph of the genus Rosa in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. Ph.D. Thesis Univ. Virginia459 p. (Diss. Abstr. 17:2389. 1957.)
  • Lewis, W. H. 1970. Species roses in the United States and their relation to modern roses. Amer. Rose Ann. 55: 78-85.
  • Lewis, W. H. 1958. Minor forms of North American species of Rosa. Rhodora 60(717): 237-43.
  • Lewis, W. H. 1958. The roses of Virginia and West Virginia. Castanea 23: 77-88.
  • Lewis, W. H. 1957. An introduction to the genus Rosa with special reference to R. acicularis. Virginia J. Sci. 8: 197-202.
  • Lewis, W. H. 2008. Rosa carolina (rosaceae) subspecies and hybrids in eastern and midwestern United States, Canada, and Mexico. Novon 18: 192-198.
  • Lotowycz, B. 1994. An occurrence of Rosa nitida on Long Island. Long Island Botanical Society Newsletter 4: 2.
  • Lundgren, M. R. 2004. Influence of land use and site characteristics on invasive plant abundance in the Quinebaug Highlands of southern New England. Northeastern Naturalist 11: 313-332.
  • Masse, R. J.; Vulinec, K. 2010. Possible impact of multiflora rose on breeding-bird diversity in riparian forest fragments of central Delaware. Northeastern Naturalist 17: 647-658.
  • McDonnell, M. J. 1986. Old field vegetation height and the dispersal pattern of bird-disseminated woody plants. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 113: 6-11.
  • Meiners, S. J. 2007. Apparent competition: an impact of exotic shrub invasion on tree regeneration. Biological Invasions 9: 849-855. (Lonicera maackii & Rosa multiflora)
  • Melville, R. 1967. The problem of classification in the genus Rosa. Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 37: 39-44.
  • Mercure, M.; Bruneau, A. 2008. Hybridization between the escaped Rosa rugosa (Rosaceae) and native R. blanda in eastern North America. Amer. J. Bot. 95: 597-607.
  • Merriam, R. W. 2003. The abundance, distribution and edge associations of six non-indigenous, harmful plants across North Carolina. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 130: 283-291.
  • Mikanagi, Y.; Yokoi, M.; Ueda, Y.; Saito, N. 1995. Flower flavonol and anthocyanin distribution in subgenus Rosa. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 23: 183-200.
  • Myers, J. A. 2004. Seed dispersal by white-tailed deer: implications for long-distance dispersal, invasion, and migration of plants in eastern North America. Oecologia 139: 35-44.
  • Myster, R. W.; Pickett, S. T. A. 1990. Initial conditions, history and successional pathways in ten contrasting old fields. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 124: 231-8.
  • Nilsen, E. T. 1999. Inhibition of seedling survival under Rhododendron maximum (Ericaceae): could allelopathy be a cause? Amer. J. Bot. 86: 1597-1605.
  • Parrish, J. A. D.; Bazzaz, F. A. 1982. Niche responses of early and late successional tree seedlings on three resource gradients. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 109(4): 451-6.
  • Patterson, D. T. 1976. The history and distribution of five exotic weeds in North Carolina. Castanea 41: 177-80.
  • Pisula, N. L.; Meiners, S. J. 2010. Relative allelopathic potential of invasive plant species in a young disturbed woodland. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 137: 81-87.
  • Raymond, O.; Biolley, J. P.; Jay, M. 1995. Fingerprinting the selection process of ancient roses by means of floral phenolic metabolism. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 23: 555-65.
  • Redoute, P. J. 1817. Les roses. Avec le texte par cl. Ant. Thory. (Vol. 1. 1817-1819; Vol. 2. 1819-1821; Vol. 3. 1821-1824)
  • Reed, W. R. 1993. Rosa multiflora. ()
  • Rehder, A. 1936. On the history of the introduction of woody plants into North America. Natl. Hort. Mag. 15: 245-257.
  • Ritz, C. M.; Wissemann, V. 2003. Male correlated non-matroclinal character inheritance in reciprocal hybrids of Rosa section Caninae (DC.) Ser. (Rosaceae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 241: 213-221.
  • Roberts, A. V. (eds.) (2003): 2003. Encyclopedia of rose science. 3 Vols. Elsevier, Amsterdam. , 1450 pages. (ISBN 0122276205)
  • Robertson, C. 1894. Flowers and insects: Rosaceae and Compositae. Trans. St. Louis Acad. Sci. 6: 435-80.
  • Robertson, D. J.; Robertson, M. C.; Tague, T. 1994. Colonization dynamics of four exotic plants in a northern Piedmont natural area. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 121: 107-18.
  • Rodewald, A. D. 2010. Exotic shrubs as ephemeral ecological traps for nesting birds. Biological Invasions 12: 33-39. (Lonicera maackii, Rosa multiflora)
  • Rowley, G. D. 1956. Germination in Rosa canina. Amer. Rose Ann. 41: 70-3.
  • Rowley, G. D. 1976. Typification of the genus Rosa L. Taxon 25: 181.
  • Rydberg, A. 1920. Notes on Rosaceae - XII. Roses of northeastern North America. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 47: 45-66.
  • Rydberg, P. A. 1923. Rosa palustris. Addisonia 8: 37-8.
  • Schmid, F. C. 1958. Cedar waxwings and fox sparrows feed on multiflora rose. Wilson Bull. 70: 194-195.
  • Shahid, A. 2009. Selection of seeds of common native and non-native plants by granivorous rodents in the northeastern United States. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 162: 207-212.
  • Shaw, J. 1983. Gardening with species roses. Arnoldia (Jamaica Plain) 43: 2-16.
  • Shepherd, R. 1978. History of the rose. Coleman, New York.
  • Sherburne, J. A. 1972. Effects of seasonal changes in the abundance and chemistry of the fleshy fruits of northeastern woody shrubs on patterns of exploitation by frugivorous birds. Ph.D. Dissertation Cornell University, Ithaca, NY157 p.
  • Starikova, V. V. 1975. Anatomo-morphol characteristics of nuts of Rosa rugosa Thunb. in the process of their development. Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Lenengrad) 60(4): 558-63. (In Russian)
  • Stearn, W. T. 1965. The five brethern of the rose: an old botanical riddle. Huntia 2: 180-4. (See footnote 9.)
  • Stewart, R. N.; Semeniuk, P. 1965. The effect of the interaction of temperature with after-ripening requirement and compensating temperature on germination of seed of five species of Rosa. Amer. J. Bot. 52: 755-60.
  • Stiles, E. W. 1982. Expansions of mockingbird and multiflora rose in the northeastern United States and Canada. Amer. Birds 36: 358-64.
  • Stoll, R. J. 1980. Foods of ruffed grouse Bonasa umbellus in Ohio USA. Ohio Fish Wildlife Rep. 1980: 1-18.
  • Turland, N. 1996. Proposal to reject the name Rosa eglanteria(Rosaceae). Taxon 45(3): 565-6.
  • Vetvicka, V. 1972. Diagnostic and taxonomic importance of sepals in the genus Rosa L.: 1&2. Cas. Slezsk. Muz., C, Dendrol. 2: 105-28. (In Chech?)
  • Von Abrams, G. J.; Hand, N. E. 1956. Seed dormancy in Rosa as a function of climate. Amer. J. Bot. 43: 7-12.
  • Watson, S. 1885. Contributions to American botany. 1. A history and revision of the roses of North America. Proc. American Acad. Arts 20: 324-52.
  • Werger, J.; Burton, R. E. 1972. Roses: a bibliography of botanical, horticultural and other works related to the genus Rosa. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen. , 169 pages.
  • Whiteley, A. 1996. Rosa canina: the dog rose and its garden derivatives. New Plantsman 3(3): 131-3.
  • Wissemann, V.; Hellwig, F. H. 1997. Reproduction and hybridisation in the genus Rosa section Caninae (Ser.) Rehd. Botanica Acta 110: 251-256.
  • Wissemann, V.; Ritz, C. M. 2005. The genus Rosa (Rosoideae, Rosaceae) revisited: molecular analysis of nrITS-1 and atpB-rbcL intergenic spacer (IGS) versus conventional taxonomy. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 147: 275-290.
  • Wissemann, V.; Ritz, C. M. 2007. Evolutionary patterns and processes in the genus Rosa (Rosaceae) and their implications for host-parasite co-evolution. Pl. Syst. Evol. 266: 79-89.
  • Wronska-Pilarek, D.; Jagodzinski, A. M. 2011. Systematic importance of pollen morphological features of selected species from the genus Rosa (Rosaceae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 295: 55-72.
  • Zeller, O. 1975. Contribution to the floral morphogenesis of Rosa canina L., Rosa rubiginosa L., Rosa virginiana Mill. and cultivar Super Star (Tantau 1960). Gartenbauwissenschaft 40(6): 276-84. (In German; English, French, & Russian summaries)
  • Zielinski, J. 1985. Studies on the genus Rosa L.: systematics of section Caninae DC. em. Christ. Arbor. Kornickie 30: 3-109. (In Polish; English and Russian summaries)
  • Zielinski, J. 2010. Stomata on the pericarp of species of the genus Rosa L. (Rosaceae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 284: 49-55.