Rosa rubiginosa

Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Rosa rubiginosa

Alternative common names:

Sweetbriar (English); wilderoos (Afrikaans)


Compact, deciduous shrub up to 2m high with slightly arching branches that are thorny and hairy. Shiny, aromatic leaves that are green above and rusty-hairy beneath. Pink flowers varying to white in groups of three appear from October to December, followed by orange-red to scarlet fruits.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Europe and Asia.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA - Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western and Eastern Cape, Free State, KZN, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo

How does it spread?


Why is it a problem?

Competes with and replaces indigenous species. Dense stands are virtually impenetrable and restrict access to grazing and water by domestic and wild animals. Consumption of large quantities of the hairy fruits or 'hips' by domestic livestock can cause obstruction of the gut and fatalities

What does it look like?

General description: A shrubby bush with small, rose-like finely serrated leaves with numerous upright branches forming from the ground.
Leaves: Shiny, finely serrated, rose-like, aromatic leaves which are green above and rusty-hairy beneath.
Flowers: Pink flowers varying to white in groups of three from October to December.
Fruit/seeds: Orange-red to scarlet berry-like fruits.

Does the plant have any uses?

Ornament, hedging; fruits harvested for extraction of juice. Birds eat the fruits. Goats and horses may eat the fruits but large quantities can cause obstruction of the gut and fatalities.

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