Field-rose
(Rosa arvensis)
Compound
Pinnate
Alternate
Thorny

leaves

flowers

flowers

fruits

Winter twig
Winter twig

distribution map

The alternate leaves have 5-7 leaflets, 10-35 mm long which have saw-edged marginal teeth and are often hairy on the main vein beneath. Large, leafy stipules which run up the leaf stalks, are about  10 mm long (see photograph).

ID check

Field-rose is a deciduous shrub, up to 2 m in height which spreads by suckering and putting out slender arching stems into woodland and woodland margins. It also grows along hedges on neutral, lime-rich and heavy clay soils.

The long scrambling stems are often purple-tinged and carry slender, only slightly curved, prickles on a base about 5 mm long.

The white, 5-petalled flowers are 3-5 cm across, appear in clusters of 1-6 and open in June and July. The styles in the centre of the flower are joined together into a slender column, which persists on the small, red hip.

Facts

  • The hips are a favourite food of birds in winter.

  • The leaflets may be attacked by gall midges, which fold them upwards, so that the paler underside is visible.

  • Caterpillars of the Small Quaker Moth feed on the leaflets.

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