Species, Wild Rose, Swamp Rose, Willow-Leaved Hudson Rose

Rosa palustris

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: palustris (pal-US-triss) (Info)
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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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:

Medium pink (mp)

Bloom Shape:


Flower Fragrance:

Very Fragrant

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Patent Information:


Other Details:


Stems are moderately thorny

Sets hips

Pruning Instructions:

Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

By grafting

By budding

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Bartow, Florida

Benton, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Pasadena, Maryland

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Panama, New York

Haviland, Ohio

Eugene, Oregon

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Arlington, Texas

Navasota, Texas

Rockport, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Spring, Texas

Chatham, Virginia

Ridgefield, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 23, 2005, kbaumle from Northwest, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

On my morning bike ride today, I saw this in all the ditches and edges of the woods in full bloom. You can find them all over the place here, growing wild, in colors white, pale pink, and deep pink.


On Jun 16, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

This lovely little rose is growing in a damp meadow near my home in extreme south west KY. The ground stays moist most of the year, but never actually stands in water.

It's happily flourishing in a partially shaded location near a brush pile.

I questioned the ID a bit, but as Rosa palustris has slightly curved thorns, Rosa virginiana has very curved thorns, and Rosa carolina has straight thorns, this is the Swamp Rose.

All three varieties grow in my area and bloom about the same time.


On Feb 23, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This beautiful little rose grows in the cypress swamps of west-central Florida, zone 9a.


On Feb 22, 2004, shearpamela from Flower Mound, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have a beaver in the pond where I have mine planted, and he ate it down to the roots almost....any suggestions?


On Feb 22, 2004, Kathleen from Panama, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

These roses grow wild in western New York State, and even with their feet ALWAYS in water, they grow to 8 feet high and 8 feet across. My plant came from a cutting that was taken from a plant growing in standing water and it has done very well in my not-quite-that-sodden yard. It bloomed the second year from cutting, single pink blooms in late summer, one of the few non-repeat bloomers to bloom so late. Most of the bushes that I have seen in the wild are rather more upright than arching.


On Aug 20, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

R. palustris is unique among roses because it will tolerate constantly wet soil. However, it does not require constantly wet soil, making it a versatile rose.

It blooms midseason, for 6-8 weeks. Flowers are loosely double, medium to dark pink surrounding yellow stamens.

Its arching habit makes it an attractive shrub throughout the entire year; it is very effective planted where the canes can arch out over a pond or stream.