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Beach Rose - Fact Sheet

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Rosa rugosa flower

Rosa rugosa flower. J. D’Appollonio, UMaine.

Beach Rose (Rosa rugosa)

Beach rose is a perennial, deciduous woody shrub that forms dense, multi-stemmed plants that can grow to a height of five feet. Native to Asia, it has been naturalized throughout the northeastern states, including along the Maine coast. It has been used as an ornamental in landscapes, and to provide stabilization of sand dunes. However, because it spreads rapidly, it has been designated invasive in many states, though not in Maine.

Rosa rugosa hips

Rosa rugosa hips. Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Leaves: Leaves are dark green and heavily veined, with serrated edges. They appear wrinkled (rugose).

Flowers: Sweet smelling flowers, two to three inches in diameter, emerge all summer long. Flowers can be white, pink or purple with yellow stamens in the center.

Stems: Stems are covered with many straight, spiny thorns.

Fruit: The orange-to-red fruits of beach rose are about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. These fruits, often called “hips,” can be made into teas, jams and jellies, and provide food for small animals and birds.

Sources and Additional Information:

Rosa rugosa distribution: USA (AK, CT, DE, IL, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV), CAN (NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC), FRA (SPM)

Distribution of Rosa rugosa. USDA PLANTS Database.

USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (, 20 May 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

USA Phenology Network – Observing Plants and Animals,

UMaine Cooperative Extension: Maine Native Wild Blueberries, Woody Weeds, Rugosa Rose,

Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Invasive to Maine, Rosa Rugosa, Rosa rugosa.pdf

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