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Rosa californica Cham. & Schltdl.
California Wildrose, California Rose
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Synonym(s): Rosa aldersonii
USDA Symbol: ROca2
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A mounded, 3-6 ft., or taller, semi-deciduous shrub with prickly branches; bright-green, pinnate leaves; fragrant, pink flowers and red hips.
The California Rose is a member of the rose family (family Rosaceae), which includes herbs, shrubs, and trees with mostly prickly stems. Besides garden roses and wild roses like this one, the family includes many fruit species, including apples, pears, quinces, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, loquats, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall, often shorter.
Fruit: Hip (mature floral tube) surrounding achenes.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: CA , OR
Native Distribution: S. OR to Baja through cismontane CA
Native Habitat: A variety of moist sites below 6000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist to mesic soils.
Conditions Comments: Likes shade in the interior; sun at higher elevations or near the coast. Barbed prickles make the shrub impenetrable. Susceptible to fungal problems.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Provides good wildlife habitat.
Use Food: Edible hips.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Provides Nesting Materials/Structure for Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Seeds removed from dried hips germinate slowly; outside stratification over a winter helps. Small offsets from the parent root transplant well.
Seed Collection: Hips can be collected as soon as they are ripe. Achenes can then be extracted by macerating the hips in water and recovering the seeds by flotation.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Rosa californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rosa californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rosa californica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff