Content Detail

Virginia rose, also called wild rose, is native to the Southeastern United States. It has attractive, dark-green foliage that changes to orange-red-yellow in fall. Singular showy pink flowers appear in early summer, and persistent fruit add seasonal interest to the landscape.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Sandy soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest midwinter, early summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Pink
  • Shape or form Round, Thicket-forming, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size & form: 

Virginia rose is a bushy, suckering shrub that reaches 4 to 6 feet high and 6 to 8 feet wide.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Virginia rose is native to the Eastern United States, Virginia to North Carolina, west to Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois and  Missouri. It is found in open fields, thickets, and sandy shorelines.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife: 

The blooms attract bees and pollinators.

Bark color and texture: 

The stout, reddish canes have hairy, curved thorns.

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

The alternate, pinnately compound, elliptical leaves have nine dark green leaflets. The fall color is purple to orange to yellow.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

The flowers are single, 2 inches wide, showy pink, and fragrant.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

The fruit is a bright red, 1/2 inch berry which persists into winter. It is often used to make jams and jellies.

Plant care:

Virginia rose does best in full sun in sandy soil, but it is tolerant of well-drained, clay soil. It can be pruned to control its suckering stems.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Leaf spots and powdery mildew can be problems on this plant.



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