T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Rosa canina (Dog rose)

(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Rosids
Order:       Rosales
Family:      Rosaceae
Genus:      Rosa
Species:     R. canina
Binomial name: Rosa canina
Common name: Dog rose, Common brier.

Rosa canina is a variable climbing wild rose species native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia.
It is a deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1–5 m, though sometimes it can scramble higher into the crowns of taller trees. Its long arching stems are covered with even sized, sharp, curved thorns which help it to climb and scramble over other shrubs. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets.
The flowers (Oct.–Jan) are usually pale pink, but can vary between a deep pink and white. They are 4–6 cm diameter with five petals, and mature into an oval 1.5–2 cm red-orange fruit (Feb.–May). There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.
Dog rose is an invasive species in the high country of New Zealand. It was recognised as displacing native vegetation as early as 1895 although the Department of Conservation does not consider it to be a conservation threat.

Rosa canina climbing through a roadside hedge.








The curved thorn