The Bugwood Network

Nonnative Roses
Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora Thunb. ex Murr.
Macartney rose, R. bracteata J.C. Wendl.
Cherokee rose, R. laevigata Michx.

International Code - ROMU, ROBR, ROLA
FIA survey code - 2160


Miller, James H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 p.

acrobat version

Plant. Evergreen except multiflora. Erect climbing, arching, or trailing shrubs to 10 feet (3 m) in height or length. Clump forming. Pinnately compound leaves, frequent recurved and straight thorns, clustered or single white flowers in early summer, and red rose hips in fall to winter.

Stem. Long arching or climbing by clinging using recurved or straight thorns. Green with leaf and branch scars linear and spaced like nodes. Flower buds of multiflora often red in winter. Bark dark brown with streaks of light brown or green.

Leaves. Alternate, odd-pinnately compound with three to nine elliptic to lanceolate leaflets, each 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 8 cm) long. Margins finely and sharply serrate. Leafstalk bases clasping, channeled, and often bristled on margins with toothed hairs.

Flowers. April to June. Terminal or axillary branched clusters or single flowers. Five white petals. Many yellow anthers in center.

Fruit and seeds. July to December. Rose hip, spherical, and fleshy, 0.25 to 0.4 inch (0.6 to 1 cm). Green to yellow and ripening to glossy red.

Ecology. Form small-to-large infestations often climbing up into trees. Multiflora widely planted and often spreading along right-of-ways and invading new forests and forest margins. Colonize by prolific sprouting and stems that root, and spread by animal-dispersed seeds.

Resemble native Carolina rose, R. carolina L., swamp rose, R. palustris Marsh., and climbing rose, R. setigera Michx., all of which have pink flowers in spring and nonbristled leafstalk bases, but none forming extensive infestations except swamp rose in wet habitat.

History and use. Introduced from Asia. Traditionally planted as ornamentals, livestock containment, and wildlife habitat. Multiflora widely planted for “living fences” or screening.


July
Photo by J. Miller


August
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


August
Photo by J. Miller


August
Photo by J. Miller


September
Photo by J. Miller


October
Photo by J. Miller


February
Photo by J. Miller


States with suspected infestations are shown in gray.

Multiflora rose shown in all images.

Recommended control procedures:

  • Thoroughly wet all leaves with one of the following herbicides in water with a surfactant: April to June (at or near the time of flowering)—Escort* at 1 ounce per acre in water (0.2 dry ounces per 3-gallon mix); August to October—Arsenal AC* as a 1-percent solution (4 ounces per 3-gallon mix) or Escort* at 1 ounce per acre in water (0.2 dry ounces per 3-gallon mix); May to October—repeated applications of a glyphosate herbicide as a 2-percent solution in water (8 ounces per 3-gallon mix), a less effective treatment that has no soil activity to damage surrounding plants.
  • For stems too tall for foliar sprays, apply Garlon 4 as a 20-percent solution in commercially available basal oil, diesel fuel, or kerosene (2.5 quarts per 3-gallon mix) with a penetrant (check with herbicide distributor) to young bark as a basal spray (January to February or May to October). Or, cut large stems and immediately treat the stumps with one of the following herbicides in water with a surfactant: Arsenal AC* as a 10-percent solution (1 quart per 3-gallon mix) or a glyphosate herbicide as a 20-percent solution (2.5 quarts per 3-gallon mix).

*   Nontarget plants may be killed or injured by root uptake.


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USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.