Colony-forming shrub to 2 m tall Stem: stout, with unequal, stout, hooked prickles and bristles. Leaves: pinnately compound, stalked, main axis (rachis) bearing scattered short prickles, with three to seven (usually five) leaflets. The leaflets are 2 - 6 cm long, 2 - 3 cm wide, broadly elliptic to egg-shaped with a blunt to very short-pointed tip and a rounded to nearly heart-shaped base, toothed (sometimes gland-toothed), wrinkled above, and lightly hairy beneath. Flowers: usually solitary (rarely two or three) at branch tips, 4 - 7 cm across, drooping, with a glandular-bristled stalk and floral tube (hypanthium), non-persistent reflexed sepals, usually pinnately lobed outer sepals, fragrant pink to crimson petals 2.5 - 4.5 cm long with the number largely increased (double). Fruit: bony achenes surrounded by the mature floral tube (hip). The hip is elliptic to nearly spherical.
Similar species: Rosa centifolia and Rosa gallica tend to have solitary flowers, unequal prickles, and gland-toothed leaflets. Rosa gallica differs by its shorter, thicker, leathery leaflets and upright flower stalks.
Habitat and ecology: A cultivated species rarely escaping in the Chicago Region.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Rosa is the Latin name for a rose. Centifolia means hundred-leaved.