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Multi-flora Rose

Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora, hips, Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.

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Common Name: Multi-flora rose
Scientific Name: Rosa multiflora
Origin: Asia


Multi-flora rose is a thorny, woody shrub that may grow as tall as 15 ft., though it is often wider than it is tall. It has alternate, compound leaves with serrate margins and 5-11 leaflets on each leaf. Multi-flora rose produces clusters of white flowers in late spring. Each flower has 5 petals and is approximately 1” in diameter. The flowers develop into red rose-hips (fruit), which remain on the shrub through winter. Multi-flora rose is distinguishable from native and other invasive roses by the fringed stipules at the base of its leaves. When flowering, it produces multiple flowers on each stem, while native roses only produce one flower per stem.


Multi-flora rose can tolerate a variety of moisture levels and soil types. It can grow in pastures, abandoned fields, roadsides, prairies, canopy openings in forests and some wetlands.


Multi-flora rose is extremely prolific, producing large amounts of seeds which are dispersed by birds. These seeds can remain viable for 20 years. It can also reproduce when branches touch the ground and take root. Multi-flora rose produces thick brambles, excluding native vegetation and degrading pastureland. Multi-flora rose is believed to be the wild host of rose rosette disease, a virus which infects plants in the Rosa genus.


Smaller multi-flora rose shrubs can be pulled by hand. Fire can suppress or even kill multi-flora rose. Burns are most effective in early spring, when the plants are expending most energy toward leaf growth. Herbicides can be applied through cut stump or foliar applications. Currently rose rosette disease and the european rose chalcid are being researched for use as biocontrols.

Regional Distribution


WNY PRISM Priority

Tier 4 – Local Control

Invasive Species Priorities – Tier Chart


Multi-flora rose was introduced for erosion control and for use as a living fence. Multi-flora rose can produce new plants from its roots as well as tips that touch the ground.

Multi-flora rose is a prohibited species in New York State – for more information on Prohibited and Regulated Species, visit

Native Alternatives

Spicebush (Lindera benzion)

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)