Carolina rose Rosaceae Rosa
carolina L. symbol: ROCA4
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, deciduous, 4-5 inches overall; 5 to 7 broadly elliptical leaflets, each 1/2 to 2 inches long, serrate, green and glabrous above and below, large comb-like stipules present at the base of the petiole.
Flower: Very showy and fragrant, initially bright pink then fading to nearly white, 2 inches across, 5-petalled; appearing singly (usually) or in small clusters in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Shiny red, fleshy "hip" containing achenes, to 3/4 inch long; ripening late summer and persisting.
Twig: Moderate, initially green, turning red-brown or gray, bearing slender and straight prickles; buds red, rounded.
Bark: Light brown and may be spine-covered.
Form: A thicket-forming shrub, reaches 3 to 5 feet but more commonly 2 feet tall.
Looks like: dog rose - sweetbriar rose
Additional Range Information: Rosa carolina is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information