Multiflora Rose

Multiflora Rose
Multiflora Rose. Rosa multiflora.
Rosaceae, the rose family.

Plant: Woody bramble of arching, prickly, biennial canes, growing 6'-12' or more, often forming impenetrable masses. Clusters of small (for a rose) white flowers appear in spring and early summer. Fruit is red, persistent, rose hip. Perennial
Flowers: White, 3/4" - 3/2", with five petals, five sepals, and many stamens. Classic rose fragrence. The flowers are in loose clusters with 5-10 flowers.
Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound with 5-9 ovate, toothed leaflets about 1" long. Base of leaf often widened with distinctive fringe.
Fruit: A red hip with thin, dry flesh and many seeds, about 1/2" long.
Blooming: May-June
Habitat: Woodland boundaries, overgrown fields, waste areas.

Comments: Native to Asia, this small, white, wild rose is widely naturalized across North America. Cultivars are sold in nurseries for use as natural fences. Escaped, it often forms impenetrable, brambly thickets, which can be good cover for wildlife, but can also dominate other flora. The bright red hips, like other rose hips, are presumably edible and high in vitamin C, but their small size and thin flesh would seem to make them difficult to use.

Where to find it: Forest boundary areas, particularly on the north and east sides of the park.