Clustered Wild Rose
Rosa pisocarpa A. Gray
Spindly shrub, to 3 m tall, with a pair of large prickles at the base of the each leaf, other prickles usually absent except on some new growth. Leaves alternate, deciduous, compound with an odd number (five to seven) of toothed leaflets; leaflets elliptic, 1-7 cm long, with more or less rounded tips. Five-petalled, pink flowers, with numerous stamens, are borne in clusters (not single) at the branch tips; usually less than 4 cm across, they have sharp-pointed leaflets. Fruits purplish-red, round ‘hips’, 1-2 cm across, with numerous bony, hairy achenes (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Wet places from Vancouver Island and the lower Fraser Valley south to California (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994). Click
Wet to moderately dry, generally open, (shorelines, meadows, thickets, stream sides, roadsides, clearings, at low to middle elevations (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Can be trained as a climber to about 3 m in height. Fragrant, pale pink blooms. Showy red hips persist well into winter. Use as a hedge or a shrub border.
As with all species of wild rose, in spring, the tender shoots were sometimes eaten. A pleasant tea can be made from the young leaves and twigs and was drunk as a tonic. A decoction made by boiling branches or strips of bark was used also as an eyewash for sore eyes, for cataracts or to enhance eyesight. The Makah mashed the leaves as a poultice for sore eyes and any type of abscess. The chewed leaves were applied to bee stings, and the ripe hips were steeped, mashed and fed to babies with diarrhea. Leaves and bark were dried and toasted, and the resulting powder was smoked. This rose was used for protection for dance initiates, young people at puberty or relatives of the deceased. Hips were eaten sparingly when ripe by many northwest coast groups. The outer rind of the fruit only was eaten, because the seeds contain hairs that are irritating to the digestive tract. Branches of all species of wild rose – along with skunk cabbage leaves, fern fronds, pine needles, or salal – were sometimes put in steaming pits, cooking baskets and root storage pits. Cedar-root cooking baskets used for boiling foods often had rose leaves placed under and over food to flavour it and protect it from burning (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Spines of this rose were considered poisonous and thought to cause swelling and irritation if touched. Rosa pisocarpa hybridizes occasionally with R. acicularis and perhaps with R. nutkana (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
May - June
fruit ripening time
seed collection time
August - September
no seeds per kg
collection and abstraction
Collect and dry and crush or soak in water and macerate to remove seed.
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.
|Method||Success Rate||Time of Collection|
|Softwood cuttings||Moderate to good|
|Hardwood cuttings||Moderate to good|
|Suckers||Good||Divide in late fall and transplant|
additional info and photos
For more information and pictures, visit the E-Flora BC website at www.eflora.bc.ca.