Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Swamp Rose - Rosa palustris   Marshall
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Rosa with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Rosaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionEssentially statewide, but mysteriously scarce in the Sandhills region. As with the previous species, RAB (1968) failed to look at their own county range maps for the Carolinas in proclaiming “throughout”; they show no records at all for the NC Sandhills and practically none for the SC Piedmont and Mountains.

The species has a large range centered on the eastern U.S., ranging from southern Canada to central FL and barely south to LA.
AbundanceGenerally frequent to common nearly throughout, but surprisingly rare in the Sandhills area.
HabitatAs the common name suggests, this species favors wet areas with standing water or very damp ground; swamps, pools, beaver ponds, bogs, seepages, and other such sites. Obviously, as it is rare in the Sandhills, it is scarce in quite acidic wetlands such as pocosins.
PhenologyBlooms in May to July, rarely later; fruits in September to October.
IdentificationThis is another very familiar shrub to biologists, especially when in bloom. Unlike the Carolina Rose (R. carolina), this species is a substantial and well-branched shrub reaching 5-6 feet tall. It also contains the 5-9 pinnately arranged, serrated leaflets found in many roses, and also has large pink flowers about 2-2.5 inches across. It is easily identified by its wetland habitats, height, and thick and curved thorns.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Essentially none
State Rank[S5] *
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieSandhills Game Land, outlet of Broadacres Lake. 9 June 2016. RichmondPhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type