Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council Plants Resource Page

Plant of the Month - Wild Rose

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Plant Description

Common Name(s):Wild Rose
Scientific Name:Rosa californica
Family:Rosaceae
Plant Type:Shrub
Size:up to 10 feet
Habitat:moist places in many plant communities
Blooms:March to September

Wild Rose is an evergreen branching thorny bush with cheery pink flowers that most commonly bloom in summer months May through August, but can be found blooming other times if conditions are favorable.

The pink flowers have 5 petals, 5 sepals and are up to 2 inches in diameter with yellowish white centers. They have a mild perfumey fragrance. Rose hips appear after flowering. These plump deep red fruits are up to an inch in diameter. The compound leaves consist of 5 to 7 oval leaflets each up to 1 1/2 inches long with sawtoothed edges. Stems and limbs are branching. As with most roses, thorns adorn the limbs of the plant.

The fruit or rose hip is high in vitamin C and can be imbibed as tea or made into jam. Native Americans and early settlers used the roots for various medicinal purposes.

Contributed by Liz Baumann

Other Similar Plants:
Toyon Heteromeles arbutifolia
Holly-Leaved Cherry Prunus ilicifolia
Red Shank Adenostoma sparsifolium
Chamise Adenostoma fasciculatum
Sticky Cinquefoil Drymocallis glandulosa

Originally featured: August 2012
Last modified: May 12 2017 23:41:14.
References:
Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, by Milt McAuley
Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal and Chaparral Regions of Southern California, by Nancy Dale
Images Botanical Terms for Leaves