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Wild Rose Plant Identification: [ Here’s How To Verify ]

Wild Rose Plant Identification: [ Here’s How To Verify ]

It would help if you were fascinated by all varieties of roses possibly present on earth. The cultivated varieties of roses are a thing of beauty and obsession for almost everyone for their lustrous and glossy petals and that enigmatic smell that lingers long after you have ever smelt a rose.

While slightly different from the roses that we are familiar with, there is one variety of roses that finds its wide presence in cosmetology and medicine is Wild Rose.

Whether scented, slightly scented, or completely unscented, wild rose is beautiful in its appearance and fragrance. This vitamin C enriched variety of roses are an excellent nutritional source.

The rose oil extracted from wild roses contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and other nutrients that do wonders for your healthcare regime.

In this article, we will turn the spotlight on one of the most debated issues centering on wild roses, i.e., wild rose plant identification. 

How many types of wild roses are there?

Identifying a wild rose seems tricky. Knowing about the different types of roses might make the job easier for the rose lovers out there. Some of the common types of wild roses are:

1. Woods’ rose

Woods’ rose or Rosa woods is one of the most popular varieties of roses. Generally found in Alaska and Canada, woods rose to grow in moist and rocky soil in the subalpine and coniferous forest areas.

It is a bushy shrub that forms dense forest. This shrub reproduces either by seed or by sprouting and layering. There are prickles all over the stems.

The leaves have leaflets that are widely spaced and sharp-toothed. These leaflets are sometimes up to 5 centimeters long. Wood rose blooms pink flowers with five petals.

The fruit is referred to as rosehip, and it is edible. Rosehip has got excellent nutritional values.

Due to its natural qualities, it is used in tea to enhance the taste and add to the benefits that tea has gained to offer. Wood rose has medicinal properties, which renders it wide use in the medical field.

2. Carolina rose

Also popular as pasture rose, Rosa Carolina or Carolina rose is a shrub that is upright and sprawls when it grows taller than its usual structure. It may grow up to 3 to 4 feet tall.

During the summer months, plenty of wide pink flowers develop, which are bright and attractive. One exciting fact relating to Rosa Carolina is that it is host to the apple Sphinx caterpillar.

Native wild roses are often visited by a swarm of other pollinating insects constantly searching for nectar from large petal-led wild roses. Carolina rose is usually grown in the loamy and sandy soil.

Also Read:

  1. Are roses monocots or dicots? Know the answer here

3. Beach rose

Beach rose is another variety of wild rose that is a woody shrub capable of forming dense forest very fast. Beach roses grow in moist coastal areas.

This variety is native to the Asian continent. Beach roses spread so rapidly that it is considered almost invasive and a threat to the other plants.

It also works as a stabilizing agent for the dunes. The leaves of this plant are densely veined and dark green. This particular feature makes the process of wild rose plant identification easy.

4. Seven-Sister Rose

Seven sisters rose is a multiflora rambler rose and got its name because it always grows in a cluster. It is a bit sensitive to the cold and chooses to grow in a less windy shelter.

They grow up to 20 feet tall, but most of the seven sisters’ roses are just 13 feet tall.

These plants bloom tiny double flowers. When the flowers start growing, it is dark pink. Then it matures into purple color and then turns cream before dying.

5. Sweetbriar Rose

Rosa rubiginosa or Sweetbriar Rose is a wild species native to the western part of Asia and entire Europe. This variety of rose is a deciduous shrub of about 2 to 3 meters in height.

It has stems that bear several prickles, which are similar to hooks. The sweetbriar rose foliage is intensely fragranced. The leaves are 5 to 9 cm long and oval-shaped. They grow in a group of about 3 to 7 plants together.

Wild roses native to the Rocky Mountains

Three types of roses grow in the areas adjacent to the rocky mountain range:

A) Prairie Rose

Scientifically referred to as Rosa arkansana, prairie rose is grown widely in the mountainous zone of Rocky mountain and its surroundings.

B) Smooth Rose

The rose lovers in Canada must be familiar with this variety of wild roses. It has light pink flowers which gradually fade to white before dying.

C) Bristly rose

Bristly roses are of only one inch. They are pink in color and are generally native to the mountainous region of North America. Bristly roses can also be found in New England. This deciduous shrub grows up to 34 meters tall. The leaves are about 7 to 14 cm long. The hips of this rose are high in medicinal values as they are proven to be enriched in Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Also read:

  1. Here are the reasons why roses have thorns

Ways to identify wild roses

Wild rose plants have lost more petals than cultivated ones. They can survive in extreme weather conditions. Wild roses are generally smaller than the roses that we are familiar with.

The ways to identify wild roses can be tricky and complex, but if you have a thorough knowledge of the different types of wild roses and their characteristics, it is not going to be an arduous task.

The wild rose’s plants are identified based on several plant features such as the size of the flower, color, characteristics of leaves, the shrub’s height, the texture of rose petals and leaves, etc.

1. Characteristics of flowers

Based on the color and size of the flower, several petals, and their shapes, the scent of the flower, you can easily differentiate a wild rose from a cultivated one. Most of the original species of wild roses are pink in color and bloom during the early months of summer. Here are a couple of points to note:

  • Wild rose plants have stiff stems, and they can survive in extreme heat without regular water absorption through their roots. They look far more relaxed and loose than the nurtured variety.
  • The original wild roses have five petals exclusively, and they are pink in color.

2. Characteristics of leaves

Rose leaves are usually divided into several leaflets. Three or more small leaves emerge from a single leaf stem. The leaf texture is also a way of identifying wild roses. You must be able to see whether the leaf texture is corrugated or the surface is flat. If the leaves are corrugated, then be sure it is a wild rose.

3. Form of the plant

The wild roses have straight, stiff stems. They grow in both sun and shade. Some species have thorny branches, whereas some species have fewer thorns. But there must be a dense thorn surrounding the flower. They grow on sandy sea beaches.

4. Flower blooming characteristics

The blooming habits of wild roses are a clue to understanding whether they are wild roses or cultivated ones. Wild roses bloom only once a year, and they generally bloom in the early summer months.

Are wild rose’s weeds?

Wild roses are woody and perennial shrubs. Yes, it can be referred to as weeds in the pastoral areas. Wild roses are considered weeds as they sprout in several vegetative gardens.

Due to its easy and quick propagation, it quickly takes over any blank space in a yard and a perfectly decorated and well-maintained garden.

If you allow it to grow freely, it might threaten the other plants and shrubs present in the park. Even though they spread quickly like weeds, not all the varieties are so stubbornly propagative. If maintained carefully, they are going to look lucrative with their pretty pink flowers.


Once you get to know the wild rose plant identification process, you look further for the qualities of wild roses and the benefits obtained from them.

The native people of North America used to make tea from the leaves of different types of wild rose. The leaves were also used for the preparation of different kinds of salad.

Some people even used the inner bark as tobacco. Wonderfully fragranced perfumes were also created from the extracts of various segments of this plant.