Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Climbing Rose - Rosa setigera   Michaux
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Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Rosaceae
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AuthorMichaux
DistributionThis species has been known in NC from collections many decades ago, as well as in more recent years, but has generally been considered as likely not native. However, Weakley (2018) considers it as perhaps native in the NC mountains. Specimens from Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Swain counties are thus considered on the map below as being of Provenance Uncertain, whereas collections from the Piedmont are certainly not natural. If a native species, the natural range in the state should be limited to the mountains.

This is a mainly Midwestern species ranging eastward to western NY, eastern TN, and AL, sparingly in western VA, western NC, and GA. It ranges west to WI and NE south to TX and FL.
AbundanceVery rare, if still present in NC.
HabitatThis species occurs in a wide variety of mainly upland habitats, usually in sunny to partly sunny conditions. It can be found in old fields, pastures, wooded borders, and open stream banks.
PhenologyBlooms in May and June, and fruits in September to October.
IdentificationThis is a deciduous shrub or woody vine, with stems growing to 10-12' long/tall on average, but it is broader than tall, and its actual height reaches only to 3-4' tall. It has characteristic branches; they are quite long and often drooping or climbing, often leaning or growing on other plants. It is thus clearly unlike any of the other native NC roses. Also, it typically has just three leaflets, as opposed to mostly 5-7 in other native species. The large pink flowers, about 2" across, are in small clusters, but otherwise look like other native roses. The small rounded, red, fruits are typically bristly. Hardly anyone in NC is familiar with this shrub/vine in the state, but it should present little difficulty in identification, with the main issue being determination of nativity.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Prairie Rose (used for other species, especially Rosa arkansana), Climbing Prairie Rose, Climbing Wild Rose
State Rank[S1?]
Global RankG5
State Status[W4]
US Status
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