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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Rosa palustris (Swamp rose)
Cressler, Alan

Rosa palustris

Rosa palustris Marshall

Swamp Rose

Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Synonym(s): Rosa floridana, Rosa lancifolia, Rosa palustris var. dasistema

USDA Symbol: ropa

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

An upright shrub, 6-8 ft. tall, with numerous, bushy-branched, thorny stems; dark-green, pinnately compound foliage and showy, but short-lived, dark rose-pink flowers. A pink-flowered shrub with stout, hooked prickles.

The Swamp Rose is a member of the family Rosaceae which includes about 2,000 species of trees, shrubs, and herbs worldwide, including service-berries (Amelanchier), hawthorns (Crataegus), apples (Malus), plums and cherries (Prunus), and mountain-ashes (Sorbus), in addition to the many wild and cultivated types of roses.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Red, Orange
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.S. to MN, s. to FL & TN
Native Habitat: Swamps; wet thickets; marshy shores of streams, ponds & lakes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Susceptible to fungal problems.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special 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.


Description: Propagated by stem cuttings or division of rootstock. Softwood cuttings should be taken with a heel and treated with hormone. Rose seeds should be taken from the hips as soon as ripe and planted in the open or stratified before planting.
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.
Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratification is required to break the dormancy of most rose species.
Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Prickly vine for fire escape in Boston
February 23, 2010
I live in Boston area and would like to plant a prickly vine that will grow on my fire escape. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Rosa palustris in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rosa palustris in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rosa palustris


Record Modified: 2014-10-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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