Rosa nutkana Presl
Medium to tall shrub 0.5-3 m tall, spreading by rhizomes and often thicket-forming; stems stout to spindly, erect to arching, with a pair of large prickles (thorns) at each node, usually lacking internodal prickles; mature stems blackish. Leaves: Alternate, deciduous, odd-pinnately compound, the leaf-stalk and axis glandular-hairy or short-hairy; leaflets five or seven (nine), elliptic to egg-shaped, 1-7 cm long, coarsely single- or double-toothed, somewhat glandular-short-hairy beneath; stipules usually glandular-blunt-toothed. Flowers: Inflorescence of usually single, sometimes two or three, stalked flowers on lateral branchlets; corollas pink, saucer-shaped, large (4-8 cm across), the petals five, (2) 2.5-4 cm long; calyces smooth or glandular-bristly, five lobed, the lobes lanceolate, 1.5-4 cm long, long-tapering and narrowing then flaring below the tip, persistent; ovaries superior but enclosed in the urn-shaped floral tube (hypanthium); stamens numerous. Fruits: Achenes, numerous, stiffly hairy on one side, enclosed by the fleshy hypanthium, which ripens into a purplish-red, globe- to pear-shaped hip 1-2 cm long (from Douglas et al., 1999). Photo by Dave Polster.
Mesic to moist thickets, forest edges, river terraces, shorelines, stream banks, clearings and roadsides in the lowland and montane zones. Floodplains, open stream banks, and meadows from low to mid-elevations (Reed, 1993; Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994). Most frequent in floodplains; sporadic in non-forested communities and open-canopy forests on water-shedding sites with fluctuating groundwater tables (Klinka et al., 1989).
Clayey-loam, sandy-loam or sandy soil (Reed, 1993; Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Nitrogen-rich moderately moist to moist soils (Reed, 1993). Characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms (Klinka et al., 1989).
Moderately moist to moist but well-draining soils (Reed, 1993). Moderately moist to very moist soils (Klinka et al., 1989).
Shade tolerant (Reed, 1993). Shade tolerant/intolerant (Klinka et al., 1989).
Soil-binding characteristics (Reed, 1993; King County, 1994)
Source of food and cover for many wildlife species (Reed, 1993; King Country, 1994).
Hedges and hedgerows (B. Costanzo, personal communication).
Sometimes branches used in steaming pits, cooking baskets and root-storage pits. Lined cedar-baskets with leaves to flavour and prevent burning. Young shoots sometimes eaten in early spring. Branches or strips were boiled to make tea or eye-wash for cataracts or to enhance eyesight. Leaves were mashed for eye poultices for sore eyes or abscesses. Chewed leaves applied to bee stings, ripe hips were steeped and mashed and fed to babies for diarrhea (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
May - June
fruit ripening time
seed collection time
August through September
no seeds per kg
66,135 - 132,274 (Gill and Poggee, 1974)
collection and abstraction
Collect and dry and crush or soak in water and macerate to remove seed (King County, 1994).
Store processed seed in sealed containers at 5º C.
fruit seed dormancy treatment
Need after-ripening. If spring sown, a warm stratification followed by a cold stratification is necessary for germination, or seed can be sown fresh in fall. Sow into propagating flats in a finely milled peat: vermiculite growing medium (Rose et al., 1998).
additional info and photos
For more information and pictures, visit the E-Flora BC website at www.eflora.bc.ca.