E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rosa acicularis Lindl.
Prickly Rose
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Larry Halverson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #71242)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Rosa acicularis
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Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi

Species Information

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Low to medium shrub, 0.3 to 1.5 m tall, spreading by extensive rhizomes, sometimes forming thickets; stems spindly to stout, erect to arching, usually covered with numerous straight, bristly prickles of various sizes, but twigs of the year often not prickly; mature stems reddish- to greyish-brown.
Alternate, deciduous, odd-pinnately compound, the axis usually hairy and glandular; leaflets usually 5 or 7, oblong-elliptic, 2-5 cm long, coarsely double-toothed, the teeth often gland-tipped, more or less rounded at the base, usually somewhat hairy on the underside; stipules hairy, glandular on the margins.
Inflorescence of usually single, occasionally 2 or 3, stalked flowers on lateral branchlets; corollas pink, saucer-shaped, (4) 5-7 cm across, the petals 5, 2-3 cm long; calyces smooth, 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, long-tapering and narrowing then flaring below the tip, persistent, becoming erect and converging in fruit; ovaries superior but enclosed in the urn-shaped floral tube (hypanthium); stamens numerous.
Achenes, 15 to 25, stiffly long-hairy on one side or towards the tip, enclosed by the fleshy hypanthium, which ripens into a scarlet to purplish, globe- to pear-shaped or ellipsoid hip 1-2 cm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present from Spring to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist open forests, thickets, open rocky or grassy slopes, river terraces, streambanks and clearings in the lowland to subalpine zones; common throughout BC, east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumboreal, N to AK, E to PQ and S to NY, MN, CO and NM; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Rosa acicularis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 6 980 2854
Slope Gradient (%) -2 18 262
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 199 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(2), BAFA(1), BG(47), BWBS(1689), CWH(24), ESSF(433), ICH(859), IDF(1831), MS(1184), PP(90), SBPS(574), SBS(2808), SWB(106)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, montane to subalpine, circumpolar deciduous shrub [transcontinental in North America (rare in the Pacific region)]. Occurs in continental boreal and cool temperate climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-medium soils. Common in open­canopy forests on water-shedding and water­receiving sites in the eastern coast-interior ecotone. Characteristic of continental forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)

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