Wild Rose Starting to Bloom

Hello all,

The wild roses of Rhode Island are starting to be in bloom. These are the truly “wild” roses scattered about by Mother Nature, and not a clone of something sold at a nursery. If anyone is interested in pollen, budwood, or hips later on in the fall, let me know, and, I’ll send you some. Also, any help in positively identifying the roses at the reservoir is appreciated.

There are pictures of the roses at http://www.ctrose.org/where_the_wild_ones_are_by_andy.htm and http://picasaweb.google.com/registered.in.ri/HeavenOnEarthSportAndWildRoses#. I think most of the roses at the reservoir are variations of R. carolina (I’m not 100% sure, just an educated guess). There is also some R. arkansana and R. nitida (I’m pretty sure about the identity on these two) in bloom as well. R. palustrus will be coming out in a few weeks.

If there is significant interest in adding the genes to the rose pool, I’ll take the time to fully document them to help positively identify them. There are quite a few and they are quite varied. Some have characteristics of many different species. Many of them are quite healthy and have good growth architecture.


Link: picasaweb.google.com/registered.in.ri/HeavenOnEarthSportAndWildRoses#

Wild roses here are also now blooming, long after all other roses, including glauca and virgianna. Identity of wild roses unknown. Attempts to collect pollen have been unsuccessful.

I think that looks highly similar to my Swamp Rose, although my Swamp Rose looks different from the one in commerce (and looks more alike in the book in Martin & Rix.)

Look at the stipules… if it looks narrow, then it may be it.

Swamp Rose tends to bloom in later than other species.


Your photos look very much like R. carolina to me.

I thought the same to, Paul. But I saw the stipules of one picture and it seemed narrow to me.

If we had close ups of the stipules… swamp rose has narrow ones, and carlina has feathery ones.

Hi, Andy. I wonder about your consideration of R. arkansana as a possible ID. I thought that Rhode Island was far outside its native range. This is the USDA distribution map.


Here’s the latest key I have. It’s from pp. 19-20, Delimiting Species boundaris in Rosa sec. Cinnamomeae (Rosaceae) in Eastern North America, by Simon Joly and Anne Bruneau. It directs you to start with the receptacle (hypanthium) and determine whether it is smooth or glandular. Sorry I can’t fool with the html to do the proper indentation to make the key more intelligible.

1 Hypanthium glabrous

2 Long and straight prickles present throughout the stems…R. acicularis

2 Prickles absent from the stems or, if present, either short (bristles) or curved

3 Infrastipular prickles stout and broad‐based…R. virginiana

3 Infrastipular prickles absent or not especially stout or broad‐based

4 Generally fewer than 2 hairs per mm2 on the abaxial leaf surface; infrastipular prickles always absent on new stems; bristles always present on new stems; leaflets from 7 to 9 per leaf…R. arkansana

4 Generally more than 2 hairs per mm2 on the abaxial leaf surface; infrastipular prickles either present or absent on new stems; bristles generally absent on new stems; leaflets from 5 to 7 per leaf…R. blanda

1) Hypanthium with glands

  1. Bristles present on new branches

  2. Hairs present on the abaxial surface of the terminal leaflet

  3. Infrastipular prickles present…R. carolina

  4. Infrastipular prickles absent…R. arkansana

  5. Hairs absent on the abaxial surface of the terminal leaflet…R. nitida

  6. Bristles absent on new branches

  7. Width of the terminal leaflet less than 9 mm…R. foliolosa

  8. Width of the terminal leaflet more than 9 mm

  9. Hypanthium typically with more than 86 glands; terminal leaflet oblong, generally with more than 20 small teeth per margin…R. palustris

  10. Hypanthium typically with fewer than 86 glands; terminal leaflet ovate, elliptic or obovate, generally with fewer than 20 teeth per margin

  11. Bristles absent on new stems; auricules more than 3.8 mm long; stipules more than 1.1 mm wide; infrastipular prickles stout, broad based, and often curved…R. virginiana

  12. Bristles present or absent on new stems; auricules less than 3.8 mm long; stipules less than 1.1 mm wide; infrastipular prickles slender and not especially broad based or curved …R. carolina

I love the key. I hope to use it on a species I own. Here’s another to add to it.


Key to non-native species of Rosa in Arkansas:

  1. Stipules mostly free from

the petiole, united to the

petiole only at their base

  1. Leaflets usually 3, rarely

5; young stems

glabrous…R. laevigata

  1. Leaflets 5 to 11;

young stems

pubescent…R. bracteata

  1. Stipules adnate to the

petiole for one-half or more

of their length

  1. Plants more or less erect

  2. Leaflets pubescent with

a dense indument of

glands on the veins of

the lower

surface…R. eglanteria

  1. Leaflets not as escribed


  1. Leaflets 3 to 5;

stipules linear, ciliate

and glandular; flowers

usually red or pink

(rarely white); small

shrub…R. chinensis

  1. Leaflets 5 to 11, often

9; stipules not as

above, pectinate;

flowers white; large,

aggressive and robust

shrub…R. multiflora

  1. Plants climbing or

creeping along the ground;

essentially scandent vines

  1. Plants with numerous,

stout, usually dark red

prickles…R. wichuraiana

  1. Plants with only a few

prickles…R. chinensis