Common Name: Woods' rose Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub Wetland Status: FACU General: Deciduous shrub, 1-3 m (3-10 ft) tall; thicket-forming; stems brown or gray, armed with straight or curved prickles, or unarmed; branches numerous. Leaves: Alternate, odd-pinnate with usually 5 to 7 leaflets, the leaflets oval to elliptic or obovate, 2-5 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, glabrous to puberulent or rarely glandular below, margins serrate; stipules leafy, arising from the base of the petiole. Flowers: Solitary or 2 to several, arranged in clusters at the ends of lateral branches; hypanthium 3-5 mm in diameter at time of flowering, glabrous; sepals 5, 1-2 cm long, glabrous to puberulent or occasionally glandular-stalked, the apex slightly expanded above the middle constriction, persistent; petals 5, 1-2.5 cm long, light pink to deep rose (rarely white); fragrant. Fruits: Hip enclosing the achenes, 0.6-1.5 cm long, rounded to ellipsoid, red-orange to purple or black; achenes numerous, 3-4 mm long. Ecology: Found along streams, in moist habitats, open ponderosa pine forests, slopes from 5,500-9,000 ft (1676-2743 m), flowers June-September. Distribution: Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma counties; Canada, western U.S., northern Mexico. Notes: Rosa stellata (desert rose) reaches a height of 70 cm; stems are stellate-pubescent, and armed with conspicuous straight to slightly curved prickles; young twigs are stellate-pubescent. Leaves are trifoliate, the leaflets wedge-shaped, 5-10 mm long, villous-puberulent to glabrous, margins are coarsely toothed towards the apex, the teeth often gland-tipped; stipules are pubescent; petioles are finely pilose. Flowers are solitary, borne at the ends of terminal branches; petals are 1.8-2.5 cm long, and deep rose-purple. The hip is about 1 cm in diameter, dull blood-red, and bears numerous prickles. It typically occurs in dry rocky habitats at about 6,500 ft (1981 m). Woods- rose prefers sunlight, but it is somewhat shade tolerant. It is top-killed by fire, but readily sprouts from the root crowns and rhizomes. The plant can be used for soil stabilization and makes a fine ornamental, having fragrant and showy pink flowers, and being easily divided. Seeds require scarification or stratification in order to germinate. This species provides forage for deer and domestic livestock. Ethnobotany: The hips are a good source of vitamin C and are consumed by birds, bears, and other animals, as well as humans. The hips can also be made into jelly and syrup and the roots make an orange dye. A poultice of various plant parts may be used for burns, boils, sores, cuts, and wounds. Branches have many ceremonial uses, and stems are used for basketry rims. Synonyms: None Editor: Springer et al. 2011
Colonial; stems to 1 m, appearing stiff and with crowded lvs, provided with straight or somewhat curved, slender infrastipular prickles 3-5 mm, and often with other stout or weak prickles as well; stipules rarely to 15 mm, densely stipitate-glandular, also glandular along the margin; rachis glandular, often also bristly; lfls 5 or 7, mostly 1-2 cm, elliptic or oval, sparsely glandular beneath, the teeth glandular on the longer margin; fls commonly corymbose on lateral branches from stems of the previous year; pedicel and hypanthium generally glabrous; sep persistent, often becoming erect; pet pink, 1.5-2.5 cm; hips red, mostly 6-12 mm thick; 2n=14. Prairies and plains; Minn. to Mo., w. to Mack., e. Wash., e. Oreg., s. Calif., and n. Mex. Our plants, as here described, are var. woodsii. (R. fendleri; R. macounii) The taller and laxer var. ultramontana (S. Watson) Jeps., with larger lfls, is cordilleran. R. woodsii hybridizes with R. blanda.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.