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Multiflora Rose

Common Name: Multiflora Rose.

Scientific Name: Rosa Multiflora.

What to look for?  Small white flowers adorning a sea of green leaves. The Multiflora Rose may take the form of a shrub or become vine-like. This perennial plant has woody stems that are heavily armed with stout curved thorns – understand the ‘Rose’ reference now? The alternate compound leaves are odd pinnate, oval, and medium to dark green. The flowering stalks produce dense multi-branched inflorescence of white flowers on spreading racemes. Each flower consists of 5 white, oval petals, 5 green sepals, and numerous deep yellow stamens surrounding a short column of styles in the center. The flowers have a typical rose-like fragrance. Fertile flowers are replaced by rather small rose hips that turn red with maturity and hold several dark seeds.

Where can they be found at Carillon Stonegate Pond? The Multiflora Rose was found on the edge of Arlene Shoemaker Preserve just west of the ponds as you walk the sidewalk.

How big are they? The Multiflora Rose is typically three (3) feet tall. The oblong leaves are approximately two and one-half (2.5) inches long and three quarters (3/4) of an inch across.

Where do they grow and thrive? The non-native Multiflora Rose is primarily found in the Midwest and Northeast. This species was introduced from Asia. Habitats include open woodlands, woodland borders, thickets, weedy meadows along ponds and rivers, fence rows, clearances in wooded areas (such as for powerlines) and abandoned pastures.

When do they bloom? The blooming period of the Multiflora Rose usually occurs during late spring or early summer and lasts about 3-4 weeks.

Do birds, insects or other wildlife associate with this plant? The pollen of the flowers of the Multiflora Rose attracts honey bees and bumblebees, which are the primary pollinators of the flowers. The pollen of the flowers also attracts Halictid bees, Syrphid flies, bee flies, and beetles. The dense foliage and prickly shoots of the Multiflora Rose provide excellent cover and nesting habitat for the Northern Cardinal, Brown Thrasher, and other songbirds.

Interesting Facts About Multiflora Rose:

  • This species was introduced into the United States by the horticulture industry from eastern Asia after World War II.

  • A mature plant produces copious amounts of fruit—about a million seeds per year—which are viable for about 20 years.

  • The birds and any mammals that eat the rose hips help to spread the seeds of the Multiflora Rose and other rose shrubs to new locations.

  • The flowers of the Multiflora Rose are usually white, while the flowers of the native roses are usually pink.

  • The Multiflora Rose is also called the Japanese rose.

For more information on the Multiflora Rose and sources of information used in this blog (these are several of the sources that I am using to learn as I blog), please visit Illinois Wildflowers, Minnesota Wildflowers, and Kansas Wildflowers.

The Carillon at Stonegate community is very fortunate to have a variety of wetland, forest and prairie environments conducive to a variety of birds and other wildlife, insects and plants. Our community and the Kane County Forest Preserve do an exceptional job in maintaining this natural environment – both for the benefit of the birds and wildlife and for our residents to enjoy.


Take a hike and see what you can find – and identify!

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