Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Rosa carolina L.
- Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This shrub differs from other wild roses by its 5-9 leaflets and stipules that are not
divided into short, thread-like segments.
- Habitat: Prairies, thickets, roadsides, open woods, glades.
- Habit: Shrub with stout, recurved spines.
- Stems: Arching, smooth but spiny, up to 8 feet long.
- Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, with 5-9 leaflets; each leaflet oval to oblong to broadly
lanceolate, more or less pointed at the tip, tapering or rounded at the base, finely toothed, smooth
on the upper surface, paler and sometimes hairy on the lower surface, up to 3 inches long, the
stipules not divided into short, thread-like segments.
- Flowers: Solitary or several in a terminal cluster, up to 3 inches across.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below, the lobes very long-pointed, bristly hairy.
- Petals: 5, pink to rose, free from each other, often with a broad notch at the tip, up to 1 1/2 inches
- Stamens: Numerous.
- Pistils: Ovaries several, superior; styles distinct.
- Fruits: Fleshy, more or less spherical, smooth, red, up to 1/2 inch in diameter.
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