Content Detail

Primrose rose, also known as incense rose, is a highly fragrant, pale yellow, wild shrub rose. The upright, arching stems reach 5 to 6 feet high with small glossy, serrated leaflets. It is a one-time bloomer in early May and is best for mixed borders and massing. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosa
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Yellow
  • Shape or form Arching, Multi-stemmed, Upright
  • Growth rate Fast

Size & form:

Upright, multi-stemmed wild rose reaching 5 to 6 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Native from Turkestan to North China.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Early pollinators are attracted to fragrant flowers.

Bark color and texture :

Dark, reddish-brown stems have thorns.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Alternate, 9 to 15 glossy, doubly serrate, light green leaflets.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Single, 1 1/2 inch wide, light yellow fragrant flowers are some of the first roses to bloom in May.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruits are small red berries (rose hips).


Plant care:

This shrub does best in full sun and well drained soil. It blooms on old wood, so it should be pruned after flowering to encourage new growth. The arching stems have thorns.

List of pests, diseases, tolerances and resistance:

Susceptible to mildew, aphids, and Japanese beetles. Thorns discourage animal browsing.


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