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Native Plant of the Week: Pasture Rose

Family: Rosaceae

Name: Rosa carolina

Bloom Time: May-June

Flower: Varies light to dark pink

Fruit Time: August-Ocober

Fruit: Red

Soil Condition: Average, dry, moist

Light: Sun, partial shade

Size: 3-6' tall by 1-5' wide

Native Range: Eastern United Stat4s

Zone: 4-9

Our native roses are so underutilized in our landscapes. Pasture rose is no exception! It has lovely and fragrant flowers in the spring, followed by berries in the fall. The fall color is also magnificent in shades of red, yellow, burgundy and a touch of orange. Carolina rose will sucker to form a colony and is a great alternative to invasive Rosa rugosa (rugosa rose). It is the most shade tolerant of our native roses but still does best in full sun. Warning, it does have thorns and prickles along the stems, so wear good rose gloves when handling or pruning this beauty.

Photos (KMS Native Plants):

Top Row: Strangalia famelica (slender flower longhorn beetle) is just one of the many different pollinators Rosa carolina attracts, fully open flower, rosehips just starting to ripen,

Second Row: ripe rosehips, the inside of the rosehips - it's seeds of course, and fall color

Maintenance: Prune in late winter to early spring but only once you see the 'buds' of the new leaves beginning to break. This will encourage new growth and more flowers. It is susceptible to fungal problems but these are usually just cosmetic.

Benefits: A fantastic wildlife plant as it provides shelter and food for so many including songbirds, small mammals, quail, wild turkey and sometimes white-tailed deer. It is also a great source of pollen for beetles, syrphid flies and our native bees. Our native bees also use parts of this plant for contructing nests. They may also nest beneath or within it.

Fun Facts: The flower petals are edible just be sure to remove the bitter white base. Use the petals to make syrup, jelly, butter and spreads.The hips are also edible.

Companion Plants: Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry), Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed), Liatris species (blazing stars), Allium cernuum (nodding onion), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)



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