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

Rosa rugosa Thunb.
rugosa rose (Rugosa rose )
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Lydia Dani  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #80908)

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Distribution of Rosa rugosa
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Rugosa rose, or Japanese rose, is an introduced ornamental species native to coastal regions of eastern Asia (northeastern China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Siberia). It is invasive and naturalized in many European countries where it grows on sandy/gravelly beaches and dune grassland communities Weidema (2006). In North America, it is reported from several north/ northeastern US states (CT, DE, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WI, WV) as well as Alaska and Washington; it is also reported from Canada (NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC and British Columbia) (USDA 2010). In British Columbia, it has been collected from two locations: Vancouver (UBC area) and Martin's Island, where it was collected in 1987. However, it is widely grown in gardens.

Rugosa rose is a small prickly shrub rose with white to dark pink flowers. Weidema (2006) describes it as follows: "The surface of the leaves is wrinkled, dark green, smooth above while pubescent and slightly sticky underneath. The twigs are stout and covered with thin, straight sharp spines of various sizes. The flowers are big (8-10 cm across) and can be white or light to dark pink depending on the cultivar, also doubled flowers occur in the wild. The fruits are large and slightly flattened, shiny, deep red and fleshy "rose-hips" which ripen in late summer." Dispersal is both via seeds (bird dispersed) and by vegetative reproduction (rhizomes). Weidema (2006) reports long distance dispersal: hips are buoyant and can float for weeks in fresh and salt water. This species is not yet widespread in BC. However, in Europe it has exhibited a lag phase before spreading invasively in coastal dunes (Weidema 2006). Thick growth through vegetative reproduction impacts native species through displacement and shading, and affects dune processes where it has invaded (Weidema 2006). As a preventative measure, this species should not be planted near coastal dunes.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Rosa rugosa var. albiflora Koidz.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Weidema, I. (2006): NOBANIS – Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet –Rosa rugosa. – From: Online Database of the North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species – NOBANIS www.nobanis.org, Accessed July 31, 2010.

General References