Long arching canes with scratchy large thorns that bend backwards. Groups of flowers (i.e. multi-flora), white to white-pink, forming multi fruits or rose hips. The compound leaves are alternate along the cane; each leaf is compound (i.e. made up of pairs of leaflets) with 5-11 leaflets; each leaflet is a 1″ long oval, pointed and toothed.
To distinguish it from a native rose, look at the base of the leaf where it attaches to the cane, and if there is a fringe it is the nonnative rose; native would be a smooth attachment with no fringe.
Forms large and dense thickets of impenetrable bramble, spreading by seed and by rooting where tips of canes touch the ground. Crowds out native species.
Cut back (carefully!) and try to dig root out. Continual cutting of resprouts needed unless professionally treated.
Links and Resources
For more information on how to identify and control Multiflora rose, please refer to the resources below:
- Ecological Landscaping Alliance for identification and control
- Mass Audubon for identification
- PennState Extension for identification and control