Rosa multiflora

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Rosa multiflora
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. multiflora
Binomial name
Rosa multiflora
  • Rosa polyantha Siebold & Zucc.
  • Rosa quelpaertensis H.Lév.

Rosa multiflora (syn. Rosa polyantha)[2] is a species of rose known commonly as multiflora rose,[3] baby rose,[3] Japanese rose,[3] many-flowered rose,[3] seven-sisters rose,[3] and Eijitsu rose. It is native to eastern Asia, in China, Japan and Korea. It should not be confused with Rosa rugosa, which is also known as "Japanese rose", or with polyantha roses which are garden cultivars derived from hybrids of R. multiflora.


It is a scrambling shrub climbing over other plants to a height of 3–5 m, with stout stems with recurved prickles (sometimes absent). The leaves are 5–10 cm long, compound, with 5–9 leaflets and feathered stipules. The flowers are produced in large corymbs, each flower small, 1.5–4 cm diameter, white or pink, borne in early summer. The hips are reddish to purple, 6–8 mm diameter.

Two varieties are accepted by the Flora of China:[4]

  • Rosa multiflora var. multiflora. Flowers white, 1.5–2 cm diameter.
  • Rosa multiflora var. cathayensis Rehder & E.H.Wilson. Flowers pink, to 4 cm diameter.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Rosa multiflora is grown as an ornamental plant, and also used as a rootstock for grafted ornamental rose cultivars.

In eastern North America, Rosa multiflora is now generally considered an invasive species, though it was originally introduced from Asia as a soil conservation measure, as a natural hedge to border grazing land, and to attract wildlife. It is readily distinguished from American native roses by its large inflorescences, which bear multiple flowers and hips, often more than a dozen, while the American species bear only one or a few on a branch.

In some regions this plant is classified as a noxious weed.[5] In grazing areas, this rose is generally considered to be a serious pest, though it is considered excellent fodder for goats.

The hips of the plant are edible.[6]


The targeted removal of multiflora rose often requires an aggressive technique, such as the full removal of the plant in addition to the root structure. Pruning and cutting back of the plant often leads to re-sprouting. Two natural biological controls include the rose rosette disease and the rose seed chalid (Megastigmus aculeastus var. nigroflavus).[7] Patches of introduced multiflora rose in Pennsylvania are displaying symptoms of rose rosette disease, which can lead to decline and death.[8]



  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Roger Phillips; Martyn Rix (2004). The Ultimate Guide to Roses. Pan Macmillan Ltd. p. 262. ISBN 1 4050 4920 0. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "USDA GRIN taxonomy". 
  4. ^ Rosa multiflora. Flora of China.
  5. ^ "Multiflora rose: Rosa multiflora Thunb. Rose family (Rosaceae)". Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group. 
  6. ^ "Multiflora Rose, An Invasive But Nutritious Wild Edible". Eat the Planet. 
  7. ^ "Multiflora Rose Control". Missouri department of conservation. Retrieved 14 Sep 2014. 
  8. ^ "Multiflora Rose: The Mixed Blessings of Rose Rosette Disease". Retrieved March 19, 2016. 


  • Carole Bergmann, Montgomery County Department of Parks, Silver Spring, MD. and Jil M. Swearingen, U.S. National Park Service, Washington, DC. "Multiflora rose". U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved March 27, 2006. 

External links[edit]