Rosa x rugosa

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Rosa x rugosa Thunb.


Life form: shrub
Usage: economic plant / Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   5

Moisture: dry bis Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: decidious

Shape: elliptic

Division: imparipinnate


Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: hip

66B / bc004e 

Inflorescence: solitary

Petals: single
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified



Rosa x rugosa is a shrub.


Rosa x rugosa was described by Carl Peter Thunberg. The name is considered as validly published.


Rosa x rugosa is a species in the genus Rosa which contains approximately 180 to 623 species and belongs to the family of the Rosaceae (Rose Family).


Rosa x rugosa - flowers


The comparatively long-lived shrubs have a semi-erect habit and reach heights of 1,5 to 2 metres. The main growing season is in spring and summer. The plants reach a width of 1.5 to 2 metres.

Wood and Bark

The bark is smooth and olive-green.


Rosa x rugosa is deciduous. The green, imparipinnate leaves are alternate. The leaflets are elliptic and petiolate. They have serrate margins and pinnate venation. The surface of the leaves is tomentose. The foliage is dense and turns an attractive yellow in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Rosa x rugosa produces solitary showy, reddish purple five-stellate flowers from June to September. The plants flower both on this years and on last years shoots. They are hermaphroditic.

In autumn the shrubs produce an abundance of ornamental red hips that are persistent on the plant.

Root System

The plants produce rhizomes which give rise to vegetative spread.


Rosa x rugosa is native to East Siberia, Sakhalin, the Kamtschatka Peninsula, North China, Korea and Japan and is naturalized in the British Isles, in Northern Europe, France, Central Europe, eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe.


The shrubs prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on dry to moderately moist soil. They prefer sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 5,5 and 7,5. The plants need a soil depth of at least 36 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -29°C (USDA zone 5) and need a frost-free period of at least 20 weeks. The plants are suited for spring protection.

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • low: soil salinity, anaerobic soil
  • medium: calcareous soil
  • high: drought


The ornamental value of Rosa x rugosa lies especially in the attractive autumn aspect and its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 1,2 to 1,8 metres. Suited for moorland gardens, rooftop gardens, windbreaks and soil protection, medium-high, free-growing hedges, noise and dust protection and for beds and borders, as well as suited as cemetery plant, slope plant, cut flowers, bee pasture, bird pasture and as plant providing shelter for birds.

Maintenance and Propagation

Propagate by sowing. The seeds require vernalization.


Pests and Diseases

Honeydew, galls and distorted leaves are a sign for an infestation with aphids. Use an insecticide or control biologically , e.g. with parasitic wasps or predators such as Aphidoletes aphidimyza.

Root and stem lesions, often in combination with raised rings of bark and pustules nearby, indicate a fungal infection. Generously cut out and destroy affected parts.

Mealy excreta on leaves, flowers or fruits indicate in infestation with caterpillars. Crush eggs, handpick and destroy caterpillars. Also apply insecticide or use biological pest control.

Leaf blotches are a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection. Bacterial spots are rather angular and yellow-rimmed while fungal spots usually are rather rounded with an area of fruiting bodies. Destroy affected parts, additionaly apply fungizide it is is a fungal infection.

Disfigured and discoloured leaves and flowers indicate a viral infection. Remove affected plants and control insects that may spread the disease.

Irregular swelling, so-called 'galls', may be caused by insects, mites, fungi or bacteria. Destroy affected parts. To prevent infection avoid injuring the plants and improve drainage.

White spots on flowers and leaves in combination with buds that do not open indicate an infestation with thrips. These insects can be controlled by improving ventilation and by watering regularly as well as by using an insecticide or biolocial pest control (predatory mites).


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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