Plant Common Name
The pink to white single roses of the dog rose are followed by elongated, edible, vitamin C-rich, red hips that remain attractive into winter. The long, rambling branches of this deciduous rose are armed with sharp woody thorns and sucker and spread to form sprawling thickets. Though wild in nature, this is an attractive, durable rose that feeds wildlife. It is native to Europe, western Asia and adjacent northwestern Africa where it can be found growing along field and forest edges.
Dog rose's glossy leaves are medium to dark green. Each compound leaf comprises five to seven pointed, oval leaflets with serrated edges. The roses bloom from late-spring to early summer. The flowers are single, medium-sized and quite fragrant. Color is variable and ranges from white to rich pink. Petals are heart-shaped and surround a spider of yellow stamens. Bees are the chief pollinators. By autumn, elongated, urn-shaped hips of tomato red take center stage. The leaves drop away in autumn, leaving many hips for wildlife.
Grow the dog rose in full to partial sun. It grows best in average to well-drained soil that is moderately rich and has a neutral to slightly acid pH. It tolerates high wind. Prune in late-winter to maintain its size and shape. The rambling stems can be trained to climb fences, pergolas and other garden structures.
Dog rose hips are used to make jam, syrup and rose hip tea in Europe. Numerous traditional medicinal applications of the hips, foliage and bark abound across its native lands. In the 18th and 19th century, it was used as a treatment for bites from rabid dogs, a potential reason for the common name of "dog rose."
AHS Heat Zone
9 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
5 - 9
2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
6'-30' / 1.8m - 9.1m
6'-20' / 1.8m - 6.1m
Late Spring, Early Summer
Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, United Kingdom, Mediterranean, Northern Africa
Edible, Mixed Border
Sharp or Has Thorns