There are six species of wild rose on the current Garden Census. Details of each are given in a comparison table referenced below. Rosa setigera is not native to the state of Minnesota but is found in nearby Wisconsin and Iowa.
Stems are erect but try to arch over to reach the ground and root, often arching across other plants and can reach up to 12 feet in length. Stems have a few short, stubby thorns that are slightly curved; they are not numerous.
The alternate leaves consist of 3 ovate to lanceolate leaflets (sometimes 5 on newer stems) with pointed tips; they are sharply toothed and shining on the upper side with conspicuous veins. The underside is pale in color with fine hair. At the base of each leaf are two distinctive hairless winged stipules.
The flowers -up to 3 inches wide - are usually pink but can be whitish, and occur in a small cluster on this year's stems. There are numerous stamens with gold colored anthers. The pistils in the center of the flower form a slender column - different from the native wild roses which have a dome shaped receptacle. There is a conspicuous gland directly under the flower bud. It and the sepals usually have glandular hair.
Seed: The flowers mature into roundish rosy-red rose hips with the darker remains of the stamens and pistils forming a dark clump at the apex. The sepals have dropped away by this time. Inside the hip are the numerous achenes, the true seeds.
Habitat: This species grows in full or partial sun in fertile soil. Excess moisture is detrimental.
Names: The alternate common names of this rose can be confusing especially when found with the name "Prairie Rose" - which can cause confusion with Rosa arkansana which is more properly called "Prairie Rose" or "Prairie Wild Rose". The genus Rosa is the Latin word for 'rose'. The species setigera means 'having bristles', i.e. the glandular hair. The author name for the plant classification, ‘Michx.’ refers to Andre Michaux (1746-1802), French botanist who made many exploring expeditions in the U.S. collecting and cataloging many species. His notes were later used by his son, Francois, who with Thomas Nuttall published the multi-volume North American Sylva.
Comparisons: See this comparison chart of the six species of wild rose in the Garden.
Above: 1st photo - The flower clusters of Climbing Rose.
Below: 1st photo - There are numerous stamens with gold colored anthers. The pistils in the center form a slender column. 2nd photo - Note the glandular hair on the buds and sepals.
Below: 1st photo - The small thorns that occur usually at the stem nodes. 2nd photo - The typical leaf of three leaflets with conspicuous veins and the small winged stipules toward the base of the leaf.
Below: 1st photo - A cluster of hips in autumn; with the dark remains of the pistils and stamens, they are attractive. Sepals are not persistent on the hips in this species. 2nd photo R. setigera tends to arch over so the stems can root. Without some object or other vegetation to climb on, the plant will sprawl like this example, however, that could be a nice ground cover.
Below: 1st photo - The winged stipules at the base of the leaf stem which help identify this rose. 2nd photo - The underside of the leaf has very fine hair. 3rd photo - Leaves formed on very new wood can have five leaflets.
Notes: Climbing Rose is not native to Minnesota but is an introduction from the east. It has established itself in the wild in most states east of the central plains except Minnesota and the Dakotas. Eloise Butler first planted it in 1915 when she obtained 25 plants from the Park Board Nursery. It was not noted on the 1951 or 1986 census but Gardener Cary George planted it again in 1994. Five species of wild rose are recognized as being native to Minnesota, R. acicularlis, R. blanda, R. arkansana, R. woodsii and a cross between R. woodsii and R. blanda known as Rosa ×dulcissima Lunell (pro sp.) [blanda × woodsii]
References: Plant characteristics are generally from sources 1A, 32, W2, W3, W7 & W8 plus others as specifically applied. Distribution principally from W1, W2 and 28C. Planting history generally from 1, 4 & 4a. Other sources by specific reference. See Reference List for details.
Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, Inc. Text and photos are by G. D. Bebeau unless otherwise credited. "www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org"