Medium to tall shrub 0.5-3 m tall, spreading by rhizomes and often thicket-forming; stems stout to spindly, erect to arching, with a pair of large prickles (thorns) at each node, usually lacking internodal prickles; mature stems blackish.
Alternate, deciduous, odd-pinnately compound, the leaf-stalk and axis glandular-hairy or short-hairy; leaflets 5 or 7 (9), elliptic to egg-shaped, 1-7 cm long, coarsely single- or double-toothed, somewhat glandular-short-hairy beneath; stipules usually glandular-blunt-toothed.
Inflorescence of usually single, sometimes 2 or 3, stalked flowers on lateral branchlets; corollas pink, saucer-shaped, large (4-8 cm across), the petals 5, (2) 2.5-4 cm long; calyces smooth or glandular-bristly, 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, 1.5-4 cm long, long-tapering and narrowing then flaring below the tip, persistent; ovaries superior but enclosed in the urn-shaped floral tube (hypanthium); stamens numerous.
Achenes, numerous, stiffly long-hairy on one side, enclosed by the fleshy hypanthium, which ripens into a purplish-red, globe- to pear-shaped hip 1-2 cm long.
Two varieties occur in BC:
1. Leaflets doubly saw-toothed, the teeth gland-tipped; infrastipular prickles becoming much enlarged and flattened toward base; plants mostly from west of Coast-Cascade Mountains................. var. nutkana
1. Leaflets singly saw-toothed, the teeth not gland-tiped; prickles rarely enlarged and flattened; plants mostly from east of Coast-Cascade Mountains..................var. hispida Fern.
Present from Spring to Fall
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
|BG(59), BWBS(24), CDF(32), CWH(86), ESSF(11), ICH(146), IDF(402), MS(73), PP(78), SBPS(1), SBS(66)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Rosa muriculata Greene
KEY TO ROSA
1. Stipules deeply fringed or comb-like; inflorescence multiflowered..........R. multiflora
1a. Prickles strongly curved, stout; calyx-lobes often with conspicuous lateral segments and usually reflexed after flowering.
2. Lower surface of leaflets stalked-glandular..............R. eglanteria
1a. Prickles not or slightly curved, often slender; calyx-lobes usually without lateral segments, usually ascending or erect after flowering.
3. Calyx-lobes deciduous in fruit, 12 mm long or less; petals 15 mm long or less...............R. gymnocarpa
4. Stems with well-defined infrastipular prickles (pair of prickles at or just below each node) or nearly unarmed.
5. Calyx-lobes usually glandular-bristly; leaflets finely toothed; plants from west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains............R. pisocarpa
6. Flowers small and clustered; calyx-lobes mostly 1-2 cm long and 2-3.5 mm wide at base; petals 1.2-2.5 cm long................R. woodsii
4. Stems more or less bristly with slender prickles; infrastipular prickles, if any, like the others.
7. Flowers mostly solitary, usually on lateral branchlets of current season; leaflets usually 5 to 7 (9); petals more than 2 cm long..................R. acicularis
Source: Illustrated Flora of British Columbia (Vol. 4). (1999)
Aboriginal people in the Pacific Northwest traditionally used this species as a food, medicine, and source of cultural material. The methanolic extract of the fruits of R. nutkana has been found to have inhibitory activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Jovel, Eduardo M., Xi Ling Zhou, Dong Sheng Ming, Tanya R. Wahbe, and G.H. Neil Towers. 2007. Bioactivity-guided isolation of the active compounds from Rosa nutkana and quantitative analysis of ascorbic acid by HPLC Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 85(9): 865–871.