Presented by The Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Wild Roses Comparison
Wild Roses of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

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Late Spring

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Late Summer Seeds and fruits


Autumn Seeds

WILD ROSE COMPARISON: There are six species of wild rose on the current Garden Census. Details of each are given in a table below. The flowers will all look similar other than for differences in size, position, and sometimes color. Most have some form of stem prickle, and all have pinnately divided leaves, with the number and style of leaflets varying. The red fruit known as Rose hips, add much red color to the fall landscape.

Click on the Rose name to bring up an information sheet with plant information and photos.

Name Carolina Rose Climbing Rose Prairie Rose Prickly Rose Smooth Rose Woods' Rose
Species R. carolina R. setigera R. arkansana R. acicularlis R. blanda R. woodsii
Height 6 to 48" 4 to 12 feet less than 40" up to 48" 12 to 36" up to 10'
Stems erect, usually unbranched Vine like-arching erect, little branched erect, branching erect, branching erect, branching, reddish brown to gray
Thorns straight, rounded and near the nodes, more dense near ground none on new growth short, stubby, slightly curved, not numerous straight and unequal, densely prickled on lower stems and internodes. Sparser above. straight and unequal, densely prickled on stems and internodes. mostly without except at base of old stems. usually slightly curved, not dense, on old & new wood.
Flower white to pink, sepals persistent, stalked glands on buds and sepals. unisexual, pink, 3" wide. Gland under the bud, stalked glands on buds and sepals, sepals not persistent. pink to rose, 1 - 2" wide, sepals persistent pink to dark rose, 1 - 2 1/3" wide, sepals persistent white to pink, 1 1/2 to 2 1/3" wide, sepals persistent pink, 1 to 2", sepals persistent
Flower Position on this year's stems, solitary on this year's stems in a tight cluster on top of this year's branches and often on last year's side branches if existing; wide cluster of 2 - 3 stalked flowers. on last year's side branches, usually solitary on branches lateral from last year's growth, single or in wide cluster of stalked flowers. on branches lateral from old stems, solitary or a few in a cluster at tip of new stem
Leaflets 5 to 7 (9), oblong to rounded, coarse teeth, a few hair on the underside central rib, two winged stipules at leaf base. 3, sometimes 5 on older growth, ovate to lanceolate with long pointed tips. 2 winged stipules at base of leaf, fine teeth. 7 to 11 oval to oblong, sharply toothed often fuzzy under. 2 stipules at base w/outward turned teeth at leaf base 5 to 9, elliptical to oval, often twice toothed, conspicuous winged stipules at base of leaf 5 to 7, sometimes 9, oblong, coarsely toothed, stipule with elongated teeth and may have glandular hair. 5 to 9 ovate or elliptical, sharply toothed toward tip. 2 wide stipules at base of leaf.
Minnesota Native status Not native, listed as native by one source, but no collected examples. Found in landscape collections. not native, found in landscape collections. native -the general species is widespread in state. Varieties more restricted. native- found in the NE quadrant and 3 SE counties native and found in most of the state native in scattered counties in the north 1/3 of state, a few south.

Pasture rose Pasture rose leaf
Carolina Rose
R. carolina
Climbing Rose Climbing Rose leaf
Climbing Rose
R. setigera
Prairie Rose Prairie Rose leaf
Prairie Rose
R. arkansana
Prickly Rose Prickly Rose leaf
Prickly Rose
R. acicularlis
Smooth Rose Smooth Rose leaf
Smooth Rose
R. blanda
Woods Rose Woods' rose leaf
Woods' Rose
R. woodsii

An information sheet on Swamp Rose, R. palustris, is also available (a plant not shown on this page).