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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.

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

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Monday - October 26, 2009

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

 

 

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