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PlantFiles: Multiflora Rose, Buschel Rose, Wreath Rose
Rosa multiflora

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Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: multiflora (mul-tih-FLOR-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Rosa x floribunda
Synonym:Rosa multiflora var. carnea
Synonym:Rosa multiflora var. platyphylla
Synonym:Rosa multiflora f. watsoniana
Synonym:Rosa watsoniana

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8 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Class:
Species

Height:
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Spacing:
3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Bloom Color:
White (w)

Bloom Shape:
Double
Eye present
Informal

Flower Fragrance:
Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Habit:
Bush

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Other Details:
Stems are very thorny

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on old wood; prune after flowering

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
By grafting
By budding

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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Profile:

5 positives
2 neutrals
6 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative Rickwebb On Feb 15, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is an ugly monster from Japan (Godzilla) infesting the open woods of southeast PA & far north Delaware & parts of Maryland, and other eastern areas, plus the upper Midwest of northern and central Illinois, Iowa, etc., interfering with better native shrubs and perennials. I enjoy killing it whenever I can, along with the other invasives of Amur Honeysuckle, Autumnolive, Asian Privet, Oriental Bittersweet, Japanese Honeysuckle Vine, and Common Buckthorn.

Negative coriaceous On Feb 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species is prohibited in three states and has been declared a noxious weed in nine. It is the primary route by which the serious and highly contagious Rose Rosette Disease is transmitted to cultivated roses. This disease has been spreading rapidly and has recently become a cause for consternation among rose lovers across North America.

If you grow other roses, having multiflora rose in the vicinity is asking for trouble.

Yes, this species is also considered a threat to natural habitat. It spreads largely through birds that eat the fruit. Multiflora rose hybrids are not ecologically invasive, though like all roses they too are vulnerable to Rose Rosette.

Individual shrubs aren't hard to dig out with a spade. They're also vulnerable to glyphosate herbicide.

Positive nonconformist7 On May 22, 2012, nonconformist7 from Aurora, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

First of all, I would like to say that this plant in NOT invasive in Colorado and does not appear in the list of invasive noxious weeds for our state.

That being said, it grows in a bush-type form, but then the branches bend to the ground giving it the appearance of a weeping rose. If they actually touch the ground they will try to take root. On my plant, in my area (Zone 5b) after having accomplished taking root that entire branch dies back completely. It is very thorny, and each year requires a lot of removal of dead branches (nearly half of the branches that were alive the year before). The flowers are very generous and smell great, but are not very sturdy and are soon blown or knocked off. It does not seem to produce any hips at all, and it does not spread at all from where it is growing and has remained in the same location (neatly contained in one little clump, with around four branches several feet along the fence in both directions and the rest drooping toward the ground) for many many years. I even had the idea that it would climb a trellis, and I constructed one just for this purpose, but what portions I had started climbing one year died back the next, and it never attempted to climb the second year on its own although it grew through the bottom holes of the trellis (just never up).

Neutral ratlover1 On Oct 6, 2009, ratlover1 from Rising Sun, IN wrote:

Definitely an invasive pest here in rural southeast Indiana. Just moved into our first owned home and need to clear out some of the woods, but every time you take a step an evil thorny branch grabs you. This pest grows even in the dense shade of the woods, just not very well. However, I'm very tempted to dig up as many as I can and transplant them to the front of my yard, outside the fence, to discourage the neighbor's dogs from coming around. A few brushes with a mass of thorns should deter them...I hope! I confess that this is a lovely plant in full bloom, which is why I just can't give it the 'negative' rating, although I fully understand why it has earned it.

Negative gabnxe On Apr 19, 2008, gabnxe from Columbia, MO wrote:

Rosa multiflora (Multiflora Rose) introduced from Japan and Korea in the 1860s as an ornamental shrub it has spread rapidly over the eastern and midwestern U.S. and is classified as a noxious weed in several states.

Beginning in the 1930s, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service promoted it for use in erosion control and as "living fences" to confine livestock. State conservation departments soon discovered value in multiflora rose as wildlife cover for pheasant, bobwhite quail, and cottontail rabbit and as food for songbirds and encouraged its use by distributing rooted cuttings to landowners free of charge. More recently, multiflora rose has been planted in highway median strips to serve as crash barriers and to reduce automobile headlight glare. Its tenacious and unstoppable growth habit was eventually recognized as a problem on pastures and unplowed lands, where it disrupted cattle grazing.

Rosa multiflora is also known to harbor rose rosette virus, a serious disease of cultivated roses.

Control with continued mowing or by pulling or digging after the thorny tops have been removed or cut and treat with a glyphosate herbicide.

State(s) where reported invasive*: AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

*Information from Swearingen, J. 2006. WeedUS database, Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas. Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group.

Negative claypa On May 29, 2007, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Banned, prohibited, declared a nuisance or noxious weed in twelve states so far, for good reason.

It is illegal to propagate, sell, or transport in Pennsylvania.

Positive chicochi3 On Apr 26, 2007, chicochi3 from Fayetteville, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love the fragrance of this rose, and it is quite attractive when in bloom, but it needs to be controlled to keep it from getting way out of hand. It grows to about 15 feet tall if given proper space, and you will smell the blooms before seeing them. A pleasant rose "in moderation".

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Buschel Rose, Wreath Rose Rosa multiflora is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive Kim_M On May 24, 2006, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

The fragrance is wonderful! You can smell the bush before you get close to it.

Negative Hikaro_Takayama On Apr 26, 2006, Hikaro_Takayama from Fayetteville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant was introduced to PA by the PA dept of agriculture, who, in their infinite "wisdom" thought it would be a great way of controlling erosion on stream banks.

This plant, however, is spread rapidly by birds, and when it moves into an area, it will choke out native shrubs, perennials and any other plants it can push out. I've even seen a large clump of these climbing roses kill a TREE!! The only plants I've seen that can successfully compete with this menace (without killing natives) are bamboo (which, due to it rapid and tall shoot growth can actually penetrate a mass of this bush and ultimately shade it out), and our native trumpet vines (which are just about as good at climbing, rapid growth and spreading by suckers as this foreign invader is).

The only effective biological control (other than the aformentioned plants) is some type of blight (that originated, ironically enough, from our native roses) that causes deformed growth on the plant (ala witch's broom), followed by general wiltage and eventually death.

I found one good way to take out a multiflora rose thicket, and send it down for the count, is to first use either long-handled pruning shears or a machete (or, in my case I use my longsword) to whack off the outer branches (which can then be either chipped or tossed onto the ol' brush pile), then use a good garden shovel to dig up as much of the roots as you can. I've used this elimination method for well over a dozen multiflora roses on my property, and never had one come back.

This plant is considered a noxious weed in PA, so I terminate it with extreme prejudice.

Negative CaptMicha On May 31, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

This rose spreads like wildfire and grows everywhere.

It's hard to remove because the plants get so large and thorny and the roots are so deep and hard.

Positive OhioBreezy On Jun 2, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

These are wild all thrughout Ohio, they are somewhat of a climber and you can see them 15 feet up a tree and they spray downward creating a lovely effect in the trees. You can smell this rose before you see it. Easily to transplant as well and grows with little to no care at all.

Positive knives4less On Sep 13, 2003, knives4less from Asheville, NC wrote:

WARNING: Considered an agricultural pest. Birds eat the berries of this plant and propagate it to farmers fields and pasturage. Also harbors a plant virus deadly to other roses and the arrow beetle which spreads the disease.

This plant was imported from Asia circa 1900 by George Vanderbilt of Biltmore Farms, Asheville NC, In the early 1950s, Chauncy Beadle planted thousands of these plants as a replacement for fencing.

The examples of this plant that grow in the Biltmore Estate Rose Garden are kept below 2ft in height, to avoid the development of berries and consequent propagation

It is extremely hardy and grows in dense clumps. The flowers are quite small and almost always white. They grow in clumps of 8 or 10 and bloom all summer. The fragrance is light and sweet, attracting bees.

Pink and yellow varieties are hybrids and are patented.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Aurora, Colorado
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Monroe, Georgia
Westchester, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Rising Sun, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana
Melbourne, Kentucky
Brookeville, Maryland
Bay City, Michigan
Champlain, New York
Croton On Hudson, New York
Crown Point, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Greencastle, Pennsylvania
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Jacksonville, Texas



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