En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
17 ratings

Monday - October 26, 2009

From: Mt. Hope, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Rose varieties for Alabama
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe


What climate and soil types will Rosa Rogosa, a plant that grows in MA, require?


At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we study and encourage the use of native plants in their native habitats. Rosa rugosa, Japanese rose, a native of eastern Asia - Japan, Korea, China - where it is common to shores and dunes, is outside of our purview. It prefers acidic soil, but tolerates a wide range of soils and climates (zones 2-9), and is becoming an invasive species in some areas. It is very commonly used in more northern climates because of its cold tolerance. As a natural denizen of shorelines, it is salt-tolerant. The UDSA Plant Database distribution map shows that in the north and north-central parts of the U.S. it has moved out of cultivation and naturalized to compete with the native vegetation. A good thumbnail description of the plant and its characteristics can be found here.

There are several species of rose which are native to Alabama. Rosa palustris (swamp rose) grows in moist to wet conditions. Rosa carolina (Carolina rose) and Rosa virginiana (Virginia rose) grow in meadows and thickets and on beaches.  Rosa setigera (climbing rosa) can climb or trail and is a suggested native substitute for Rosa rugosa.


Rosa palustris (swamp rose)

Rosa carolina (Carolina rose)

Rosa virginiana (Virginia rose)

Rosa setigera (climbing rose)

Rosa palustris

Rosa carolina

Rosa virginiana

Rosa setigera



More Non-Natives Questions

Pronunciation of non-native mutabilis from Austin
April 11, 2010 - How do you pronounce the rose name, "mutabilis"? Some friends say "mu TAB ilis" and others say "muta BIL is". Which is it? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of potted blue-green cypress
July 26, 2008 - I received a small 14" potted blue-green cypress for Christmas 2007. Kept it in a bright window, not direct sun. It was doing great until two weeks ago when it started turning brown from the center. ...
view the full question and answer

Native plant to replace invasive non-native nandina in Houston
February 28, 2010 - I'm just now finding out that Nandinas are an invasive species from our local chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. I have three of them in my front yard and want to replace them. Can you sug...
view the full question and answer

Companion plants for non-native Santolina virens
March 23, 2015 - Can you recommend companion plant options for Santolina virens? The companion plant would be planted randomly and interspersed with the santolina and needs to be no taller than 12 inches because of th...
view the full question and answer

Ailing non-native red tip photinia
June 05, 2009 - My red tips look like they are brittle and the leaves are spotted. What do I do?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center