Colony-forming shrub 1 - 2 m tall Stem: slender, red, flexible, with few prickles between nodes but stout, pale, recurved, wide-based prickles beneath stipules. Leaves: pinnately compound, stalked, the main axis (rachis) densely hairy, with five or seven (rarely three) leaflets. The leaflets are dull green and lightly hairy above, paler and densely hairy beneath, 1.5 - 4 cm long, narrow elliptic to oblong with a blunt to pointed tip, and toothed. Flowers: solitary or few, 4 - 5 cm across, with a hairless stalk floral tube (hypanthium) wide at the opening, persistent erect sepals 2 - 2.5 cm long, and pinkish purple petals 2 - 3 cm long with the number usually largely increased (double). The fragrance resembles cinnamon. Fruit: bony achenes surrounded by the mature floral tube (hip), rarely seen in the wild. The hip is red, 1.2 - 1.5 cm across, and spherical but slightly flattened. Stipules: subtending leaves, enlarged, rolled up longitudinally.
Similar species: Rosa acicularis, Rosa arkansana var. suffulta, Rosa blanda, and Rosa cinnamomea have hairless flower stalks and floral tubes and erect, persistent sepals. While Rosa cinnamomea has coarse, stout, recurved prickles subtending the stipules, the other species have straight slender prickles or lack prickles on the stems.
Flowering: June to July
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Eurasia, this species rarely escapes from cultivation in the Chicago Region.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Rosa is the Latin name for a rose. Cinnamomea refers to a cinnamon-like fragrance.