Wild Rose of the Prairie

The shrub roses ‘Cassie’ and ‘Sally Holmes’ are past their prime, but Prairie Rose (Rosa setigera) is just coming into its own. This is a wild rose that is native to much of the eastern half of the USA.


Prairie Rose is a climber that grows up to 15′, so it’s a good plant for arbors and other structures. Ours is growing against a south-facing brick wall, though in part shade. This year I haven’t bothered to attach the canes to the trellis.

DSC_0613Prairie Rose is supposed to be able to tolerate a good deal of shade. I would say that mine has not exactly thrived. Last year it hardly bloomed at all, so I cut it back hard, almost to the ground. This year it reemerged and has a decent number of flowers. Even when the flowering is uneven, Prairie Rose has been completely disease resistant in our garden.

DSC_0614The single flowers are very fetching. They open pink and fade to white, so a bunch of them can have a multi-colored effect. Prairie Rose is favored by native bees, both for foraging and nesting.

Do you grow any wild roses?

36 Comments on “Wild Rose of the Prairie”

  1. Sometimes I actually prefer single-petaled roses. For example, I love the look of the Mermaid rose although I’ve never grown it because I hear it’s a house eater. Anyway, I like the look of your rose and to answer your question, no, I’ve never grown a wild rose.

  2. Those are lovely! I have several roses in my garden but have no idea what they are and I think I actually killed one by cutting it back at the wrong time. Another one, however, is doing really well after being cut back this spring – win some, lose some I guess.

  3. Lovely rose! Out here on the prairie I have a small group that has thickened up over the years making an impenetrable mass of spiny canes. Terrific bird habitat. And, yes, those little fluffy things (Asclepias tuberosa) catch in there too now and then.

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