Rosa species

See individual species by clicking on link below.
Rosa bracteata - Diagram
Rosa canina - Diagram
Rosa chinensis - Diagram
Rosa chinensis X moschata Diagram
Rosa chinensis X multiflora - Diagram
Rosa gallica Diagram
Rosa laevigata Diagram
Rosa moschata Diagram
Rosa multiflora Diagram
Rosa odorata Diagram
Rosa roxburghii Diagram
Rosa rubiginosa Diagram

Order: Rosales

Family: Rosaceae


Rosa is Latin for rose.

Other Names:



See the Weedy Blackberry and Rose key.



First leaves:


Alternate, deciduous. 3-7 leaflets.
Stipules - Joined to the petiole.
Petiole - Yes.
Blade - Of leaflet, egg shaped, toothed, prickles on the veins, dark green and glossy on top, light green to white and furry underneath, Pointed tip.


Erect with curved thorns

Flower head:

Single flowers at the ends of the stems.


Ovary -
Calyx -
Perianth -
Sepals - 5 at the top of the floral tube
Petals - Many, attached to the edge of the floral tube.
Stamens - Many of varying lengths. Usually yellow. Attached to the edge of the floral tube.
Anthers -


Usually red, bell shaped floral tube becoming fleshy when ripe to produce the "rose hip".


Many, small.


Taproot and many laterals.

Key Characters:


Life cycle:

Most commercial production is in green houses. Harvested at tight bud stage.


Optimum temperatures is 160C at night and 250C during the day. Prefers high light intensities. Field plants tolerate some frost. Excessive wind and rain damages flowers.


By seed and cuttings.

Flowering times:

Spring but altered by pruning and variety.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:




Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Mainly spread by intentional planting of seed, cuttings and grafts.

Origin and History:

Introduced as an ornamental.
By the eighteenth century there were five broad rose classes referred to as the Old European Roses: Gallica (Rosa gallica), Alba (Rosa alba), Centrifolia (Rosa centrifolia), Moss rose (Rosa centrifolia moscosa) and Damask (Rosa damasenca). These share a number of features such as double flower, fragrance, muted flower colours, frost hardiness and resistance to black spot and rust and spring flowering. They were susceptible to mildew in some climates.
In the nineteenth century these were crossed with the Chinese roses to form the Hybrid Perpetuals. The Hybrid Perpetuals were crossed with the Tea Roses to form the Hybrid Tea Roses as a new class and commonly referred to as Rosa X hybrida.
In the twentieth century the Hybrid Tea Roses were crossed with Asian rose species (mainly Rosa foetida, Rosa multiflora and Rosa chinensis minima) to form the new classes such as Polyantha, Floribunda, and Miniature roses.
The Hybrid Tea and the Floribunda classes are the main species used in commercial production and commercial landscaping with the other groups being used in the home garden market.
There are currently 29 groups or classes of Roses.


Various species and hybrids are naturalised, semi naturalised or persisting around old settlements in WA.
No cultivated complex hybrid rose types (Rosa x hybrida) are reported to be naturalised in Australia even thought they have a long history of cultivation.



Temperate. Sub tropical.


Requires well drained soil and irrigation for commercial production.

Plant Associations:



Grown for cut flowers. Ornamental. Hips of some species harvested for vitamin C, beverages, cooking and wine making.
Petals used in celebrations and fragrance mixes such as potpourri.


Some Wild Rose species are minor environmental weeds.


Not recorded as toxic.



Management and Control:

In bushland situations, plant or encourage species that reduce light levels.
Slashing and deep ploughing or ripping in winter to bring the roots to the surface and summer cultivation to expose them to the sun usually gives good levels of control in agricultural situations. Replant to vigorous pasture species to prevent seedling establishing.
It is often difficult to control manually due to the production of suckers, coppicing and layering. All material needs to be burnt on site.
Grazing with goats can provide control.
Slashing alone is generally ineffective.
Mechanical removal, or slashing and burning followed by cultivation, can provide control if repeated regularly and then followed by planting of a competitive, preferably perennial, pasture species that are grazed by cattle or goats.
Seedlings rarely establish in dense pasture or undisturbed native vegetation.
Control with herbicides is usually the most cost effective. Metsulfuron and triclopyr plus picloram have provided the best results. Glyphosate can be used in home gardens or other sensitive areas. Dead canes may be burnt or slashed in the following season to allow access and rehabilitation of the site.
Fire provides little control alone but assists access for herbicide application or other controls.
Triclopyr (Garlon®) or triclopyr + picloram (Grazon®) generally provides good control any time the plant is actively growing with good leaf area.
Basal bark spraying the lower 50 cm of the stems with triclopyr or Access® in diesel at flowering to early fruiting provides good control.
In Pine plantations hexazinone can be used.
Hexazinone as a spot treatment on the soil is also effective.
Imazapyr as an overall spray when the plant is in full leaf to fruiting provides good control also and has a soil residual to help control suckers.
Follow up treatments are essential for high levels of control and to control suckering at the periphery of the bush in the season following spraying.
Low volume spraying is usually effective providing the amount of active ingredient applied per bush is kept constant.
For high volume spraying use 1 litre of mix for each 2.5 cubic metres of Rose bush (or 2.5 square metres of low lying bush). This is equivalent to about 4000 L/ha of spray mix being applied.


Eradication strategies:

Mechanical control is difficult and most of the root system must be removed for effective control.
3 annual, summer applications of 1 L of Grazon® plus 250 mL of Pulse® Penetrant in 100 L of water will eradicate most infestations. Replant native or agricultural species after control has been achieved.
On large infestations, 10 g metsulfuron(600g/kg) plus 250 mL Pulse® Penetrant in 100 L water, applied in summer when the Rose is actively growing, provides a cheaper option to reduce the size of the infestation before Grazon® is used.
In urban and sensitive areas repeated applications of 1 L glposate450 in 100 L water will eventually provide high levels of control.

Herbicide resistance:

None reported.

Biological Control:

Pests include Aphids, Helicoverpa, Spider Mite and Thrips.
Diseases include Black Spot, Botrytis Blight, Dieback, Mosaic Virus and Powdery Mildew.

Related plants:

Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata) has white flowers and bristly fruit.
Chestnut Rose (Rosa roxburghii) has pink to red-purple flowers and a hip covered with fine prickles.
China Rose (Rosa chinensis)
Dog Rose (Rosa canina) is scrambling with pink and white flowers, 5 leaflet leaves and was a rootstock of ornamental roses.
French Rose (Rosa gallica)
Japanese Rose (Rosa multiflora) is invasive in the USA.
Macartney Rose (Rosa bracteata) has white, 5 petal flowers.
Manetti or Noisette Rose (Rosa chinensis x moschata) has pink many petal flowers and 3-5 leaflet leaves.
Musk Rose (Rosa moschata)
Sweet Briar (Rosa rubiginosa) has pink, 5 petal flowers and 5-7 leaflet leaves.
Rambler Rose (Rosa chinensis x multiflora) has pink to red flowers, the pedicels don't have prickles and it has 5-7 leaflets leaves.
Tea Rose (Rosa odorata)

Plants of similar appearance:

See the Weedy Blackberry and Rose key.
Blackberry (Rubus species) usually have palmate rather than pinnate leaves and a berry-like fruit rather than a “rose hip”.


Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P216-217.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P209.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #1066.

Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P208-209.

Reid, R.L. (1990) The Manual of Australian Agriculture. (Butterworths, Sydney). P211.


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