Multiflora Rose

TreatmentRosa multiflora

Invader Images

    • Multiflora rose flower
    • Multiflora rose leaf and stem
    • Hypanthia or hips
    • Flowering plant in May
    • Bristled margins on petiole base that characterizes species in September
    • Immature fruit (hips)

Identification

Appearance

Rosa multiflora is a multistemmed, thorny, perennial shrub that grows up to 15 ft. (4.6 m) tall. The stems are green to red arching canes which are round in cross-section and have stiff, curved thorns.

Foliage

Leaves are pinnately compound with 7-9 leaflets. Leaflets are oblong, 1-1.5 in. (2.5-3.8 cm) long and have serrated edges. The fringed petioles of Rosa multiflora usually distinguish it from most other rose species.

Flowers

Small, white to pinkish, 5-petaled flowers occur abundantly in clusters on the plant in the spring.

Fruit

Fruit are small, red rose hips that remain on the plant throughout the winter. Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit and disperse the seeds.

Biology

This is considered a watch list species.

Origin 

The plant was originally brought to the US as rootstock for ornamental roses in the 1800s, then promoted as “living fences” in the 1930s, and encouraged as wildlife enhancement in the 60s.

habitat

Man-made or disturbed sites, meadows and fields, shores of rivers or lakes, shrublands or thickets

Life Cycle

Multiflora rose reproduces primarily by seed, a single plant can carry up to 1 million in a year. The seeds remain viable in the soil for up to 20 years. These perennial plants will also sprout from existing roots season after season. Leaves appear very early in spring, and flowers begin to bloom in June. Fruits develop in late summer and remain on the plant through winter. Multiflora rose can also reproduce by layering – when stem tips touch the ground and take root.

ecological threat

  • Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) can form impenetrable thickets that exclude native plant species.
  • Birds eat the fruits and disperse the seeds which are still viable after passing through the digestive tract.
  • Arching canes that reach the ground can take root and form new plants.
  • This plant has a wide tolerance of soil, moisture, and light conditions. It has the ability to thrive in dense woods, open fields, prairies, pastures, and is readily found along stream banks and roadsides. 
  • Seed bank can remain viable for 10-20 years creating the need for a long-term management plan.

Management Options

Mechanical Control

Young plants can be pulled by hand. Frequent, repeated cutting or mowing at the rate of three to six times per growing season, for two to four years, has been shown to be effective in achieving high mortality of multiflora rose. In high-quality natural communities, cutting of individual plants is preferred to site mowing to minimize habitat disturbance.

Chemical Control

Cut stump - Cut the plant 4 inches above the ground.  Use a drip bottle to apply an 18-21% glyphosate solution to the stump within one hour of cutting.  This is best done in late summer through winter when plants are transporting resources to their root systems.

Low volume foliar spray - This method is used for dense populations and best left to a contractor. Thoroughly wet all leaves with an herbicide in water with a surfactant as follows: while in bloom—Escort* at 1 ounce per acre (0.2 dry ounces per 3-gallon mix); Aug-Oct—Arsenal AC* as 1% solution (4 oz per 3-gallon mix) or Escort* at 1 oz per acre (0.2 dry oz per 3-gallon mix); May-Oct—repeated applications of a glyphosate herbicide as a 2% solution in water (8 oz per 3-gallon mix), a less effective treatment that has no soil activity to damage surrounding plants.  In order to avoid drift to native plants, spray only on calm days.

 

**Be careful not to damage or kill nearby native plants when conducting management work. And when using herbicides, always follow the instructions on the label.**

Citations

photo credit

Multiflora Rose flower, 5473560, Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org

Multiflora Rose leaf and stem, 5473559, Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org

Hypanthia or hips, 0002060, James W. Amrine Jr., West Virginia University, Bugwood.org

Flowering plant in May, 0016089, James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Bristled margins on petiole, 0016092, James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Immature fruit (hips), 0016094, James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org

information credit

Center for Invasive Species and Forest Health, Multiflora rose

GoBotany, Multiflora rose