Multiflora Rose

Multiflora rose. Photo by Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

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Common Name: Multiflora rose
Scientific Name: Rose multiflora
Origin: Eastern Asia


Multiflora rose is a thorny, perennial shrub that grows up to 15 feet in height. Stems are long, flexible, green or reddish in color, and covered with numerous stiff, curved thorns. Leaves are alternate and compound, with 5-11 one-inch leaflets that have toothed margins. Multiflora rose blooms in May or June and produces numerous clusters of showy white or pink flowers. The flowers are small (1 inch wide) with 5 petals. In summer, flowers develop into small, hard red fruits that are approximately 1/4 inch in size.


Multiflora rose can grow in areas with a wide variety of soil, moisture, and light conditions. It frequently invades forest edges or canopy openings, riparian corridors, fields, and forested wetlands.


Multiflora rose was historically utilized as an erosion control species and is often still panted as an ornamental species. A prolific seed producer, multiflora rose quickly escapes areas of cultivation via bird and animal dispersed seed where it can overtake natural areas. Thick stands exclude and outcompete native plant species. The plants numerous spines make it unpalatable to wildlife and can cause minor injury to humans.

NYS Threat Ranking Assessment Score = Very High, 89.00


Do not plant multiflora rose. Small infestations can be treated by hand pulling or repeated mowing prior to seed formation. Larger infestations can be treated using glyphosate or triclopyr based herbicides.

Distribution: View Map