Rosa californica in desert?

I do not know what the “white fuzzy stuff” was, but it was over a lot of the plant. The foliage was not fragrant, which I thought Rosa californica was.

Since this photo is without explanation, it might help if I say that it goes with the other photo I just posted. These are the prickles/thorns, but not many stems were like this.

I am not very knowledgeable about native species, and from what I read this is rosa californica. Certainly is drought tolerant to a fault.

Hmmm, the flower in your other post looked right, but the thorns on this one look completely different from mine. But, then, there are different “versions” of R. Californica. The one I grow is the one sold by Tree of Life nursery. The thorns on mine are mostly at the base of the plant and are needlepoint sharp. As you go towards the ends of the stems, the plant becomes increasingly thornless, and there are no thorns at all on the last foot or two of the new growth branches. There is a very light resiny scent when you rub the foliage.


Here’s a link to a couple of shots I just went out and took for this post. Not blooming right now, sorry.



The leaves and the thorns/prickles do match many of the stems on this one. It did also have some branches that had these recurved thorns from hell, which were pretty high on the stem. Took that picture Saturday, and it looked like they had been blooming for a couple of weeks, with more than a couple to go. I didn’t take an over all photo, but it was quite showy. This photo is more accurate for color.

I’ve collected R. californica that does not have glandular foliage and is instead downy. I think I see glands on the margins of the stipules but the sepal margins look smooth.

Rosa woodsii subspecies gratissima is also found in SoCal. Take a look at the info on HMF.

The location where you collected the plant would be most helpful. We can then check various mapping websites that show where specimens were found. See e.g.


Cinnamomeae out of context are notoriously difficult to ID. Ask any botanical garden…