Multiflora Rose

If you’re human, I’m sure this describes you:  You’ve done something that seemed like a really good idea at the time, and now you regret it.  Maybe you don’t totally regret it.  May be there are some advantages to what you’ve done… But all in all, you wish you hadn’t…

Consider this flower:

Multiflora Rose

Frosty HipsWhat could be the harm in such a pretty little rose?  It’s fragrant.  It make gorgeous red fruits that stay through the winter adding a little color to an otherwise white landscape.  It’s easy to grow…  happy in just about any kind of soil.

Arching branches provide cover for rabbits, quail, bobwhite, and others.

Multiflora Rose

So what’s the problem?

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) is a non-native shrub brought to the US in the 1800s from Japan for use as rootstock for ornamental rose cultivars.  Because it quickly creates impenetrable thickets, the US Soil Conservation Service encouraged its use as living fences for livestock in the 1930s.

Multiflora Rose HipsMultiflora Rose is prolific!  The seeds inside the fruit are carried by birds and disbursed easily.  It can also produce new plants when the tip of a cane arches and touches the ground.  These features make it a great plant if you are trying to create songbird food sources and shelter for certain types of wildlife…  The downside?  It chokes out other native flowers, including native roses.

Multiflora Roase is blooming at Audubon now.  It may be non-native, but it is very pretty, and fragrant, and attracts lots of interesting pollinators.  And the bunnies DO use it for shelter.  Come on down for a walk and see what you can see…

Information for this post came mostly from:
http://www.nps.gov/plants/ALIEN/fact/romu1.htm


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4 thoughts on “Multiflora Rose

  1. Interesting post! I’m not a fan of introduced species, be they avian or flora, but at least R. multiflora is pretty! It’s Wood Rose (R. woodsi, appropriately enough) season in the Sierras; hopefully I’ll have some photos to share of our native rose in a week or so.

  2. I’ve collected some images much like yours–what a lovely little (hatefully thorny) flower it is.
    I like it for the way that, in the still chill of spring, the buds begin to swell and promise spring.
    I hate it for the way that, even wearing long pants, it can seek and find sensitive skin.

    Beautiful photos.

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