sweetbriar rose Rosaceae Rosa
rubiginosa L. symbol: RORU82
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, deciduous, 4 inches overall; 5 to 9 broadly elliptical leaflets, each 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, serrate, green and glabrous above and below; petiole and rachis covered with small spines; large stipules at base of petiole; covered with glandular hairs and emitting a sweet apple fragrance when crushed.
Flower: Borne singly or in small clusters; very showy and fragrant, pink with white at the base of the petal, to 1 1/2 inches across, 5-petalled.
Fruit: Shiny orange-red and showy, a fleshy "hip" containing achenes, to 3/4 inch long.
Twig: Moderate, initially green, turning red-brown or gray, bearing slightly curved prickles; buds red, rounded.
Bark: Light brown and very spiny.
Form: A root-suckering, thicket-forming shrub that reaches 10 feet.
Additional Range Information: Rosa rubiginosa is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting sweetbriar rose.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson