Rosa rugosa - Beach Rose


"Rosa rugosa is native to northern China, Korea and Japan. It is a bristly, prickly, sprawling, suckering shrub rose that typically grows in a rounded form to 4-6' tall and as wide. Unless restrained, it will over time spread by suckers to form dense thickets. Odd-pinnate dark green leaves (each with 5-9 leaflets) turn yellow (sometimes a quality orange-red) in fall. Each leaflet (to 2" long) has pronounced veins, a wrinkled appearance, serrated edges and downy undersides. Fragrant flowers are rose pink to white (to 3 1/4" across). Flowers are primarily single (5 petals), but are semi-double or double in some varieties and hybrid cultivars. Flowers appear singly or in clusters. Flowers primarily bloom from late May to July, with some additional scattered bloom to early fall. Flowers are followed by fleshy, edible (with some bitterness), tomato-shaped hips (to 1" diameter) which appear green but ripen to bright red by late summer and persist on the shrub until late fall sometimes extending into winter. Hips are used to make jams and jellies (rose hip jam). Deadheading spent flowers may encourage rebloom, but at the cost of preventing rose hip development. Stems are covered with abundant sharp thorns, making this an excellent impenetrable hedge. Ability to thrive in sandy seashore habitats combined with tomato-shaped hips led to the additional common names of beach tomato and sea tomato for this shrub. Because of its tolerance for salt and sand, this rose has been planted along ocean shores to help stabilize beaches/control beach erosion. Many varieties and hybrid cultivars (single to double flowers in colors of pink, purple or white) have been developed."  (MIssouri Botanical Garden)

Rosa rugosa hips (S. Rae)

  1. "Rosa rugosa" By Σ64 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

Missouri Botanical Garden description: Rosa Rugosa - Plant Finder. Accessed 16 Feb. 2022.

Rose hips: "Rosa rugosa" by S. Rae is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Type: Shrub Hardiness range: 2A - 7B Height: 4' to 6' / 1.20m to 1.80m Spread: 4' to 6' / 1.20m to 1.80m Growth rate: Average Exposure: Full sun Persistence: Deciduous, broadleaf Bloom color: Pink, purple, red, white Bloom season: Summer Bloom attributes: Suitable for cut flowers Leaf color: Green Fruit color: Red Water requirements: Moist to wet Soil pH requirements: Acidic, neutral, slightly alkaline Soil type: Sandy, clay, loamy Native habitat: China, Korea, Japan Form: Oval, upright or erect Landscape uses: Border, erosion control, ground cover, massing, seashore, specimen Attributes and features: Naturalizing

Information and images compiled by Erik N. Vegeto

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