Page author: David Giblin
Rosa rubiginosa
sweetbrier rose, small-flowered sweetbrier

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington, though more common west of the crest; southern British Columbia to California, east to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, further east from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, thickets, shorelines, pastures, and other disturbed, open areas.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Introduced Eurasia and northern Africa

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, beetles


Coarse shrub 1-2 m. tall, with well-developed, flattened, unequal, strongly curved or hooked prickles, the foliage sweetly aromatic.


Leaves alternate, deciduous, odd-pinnate with 5-7 firm leaflets; leaflets broadly elliptic to sub-orbicular, 1-2.5 cm. long, doubly serrate with gland-tipped teeth, the lower surface with stalked glands and hairs.


Flowers in small clusters or solitary, on short, stout, glandular-bristly pedicels; sepals 5,1-2 cm. long, with stalked glands and some slender lateral lobes, spreading, deciduous at maturity; petals 5, 1.5-2 cm. long, bright pink; stamens numerous; pistils many, the styles densely short-hairy.


Hips sub-globose or ovoid, 1-1.5 cm. long, glabrous, bright red.

Accepted Name:
Rosa rubiginosa L.
Publication: Mant. Pl. Altera 564. 1771.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Rosa eglanteria L. [HC]
Rosa micrantha Borrer [HC, Stace 1997]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Rosa rubiginosa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Rosa rubiginosa checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Rosa rubiginosa information.

E-Flora BC: Rosa rubiginosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Rosa rubiginosa photos.

USDA Plants: Rosa rubiginosa information.

25 photographs:
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