Rosa sp.
Family: Rosaceae
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Angiosperm, Dicot, evergreen


Most roses grow to 2-5 meters in height. However, miniature roses grow to a maximum height of only 18 inches, and climbing roses can grow to 20 meters.

Identifying Features:

  • Large, showy flowers, which are normally red, pink, white, or yellow in color, are produced once per summer. The petals generally come in multiples of 5, although some species contain only 4 petals.
  • Plant contains a woody stem with younger, green, thorny branches


There are over 100 species of wild roses, all native to areas in the northern hemisphere. Wild roses can be found in many locations, including India, Egypt, China, Siberia, Europe, and the United States. Most species are best adapted for temperate climates, but some thrive in sub-tropical conditions. Additionally, there are thousands of rose varieties and hybrids that are not found in nature.


Roses are angiosperms, and typically produce their large, showy flowers once each summer. During the early fall, fruits called rose hips are produced from the polinated flowers. Rose hips are usually scarlet or deep red in color, and either oval or pear shaped.

Water/Sun Requirements:

  • requires 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day
  • each plant requires about 1 inch of water per week
  • grow best when given a liquid fertilizer once every 3-4 weeks during the growing season
  • cannot survive in temperatures below 20 degrees Farenheit

Special Adaptations:

  • Rose thorns, which are actually modified leaves, serve as protection against predators.
  • Wild rose species tend to be very disease-resistant.

Other Info:

  • Roses belong to subfamily Rosoideae of family Rosaceae.
  • Roses have numerous medicinal uses. Rose petals contain an astrigent called tannin, which was used to treat cuts during ancient times. Rose oil and rose water were commonly used in ancient China to treat stomach and colon problems. Rose hips, which are high in vitamin C, are occasionally used in soups. Rose hips can also be used as a laxative.
  • The oldest known rose fossils, about 40 million years old, are found in Colorado.
  • Roses have always been regarded as a beautiful and unique flower, and they have been cultivated for over 3,000 years by many cultures, including the Romans. Roses were also sacred to the ancient Egyptians. Today, the rose is the most popular flower in the United States.

Reference Sources/Links:

.University of Illinois, Integrative Biology 335 class lecture, taught by Stephen R. Downie and Kenneth R. Robertson
"How to Grow Roses". 31 May 2007.
"Success with Roses". 2007. Gardener's Supply Company. 31 May 2007.
"Learn2 Grow Beautiful Roses". 2004. 31 May 2007.
"Guide to Antique Roses". The Antique Rose Emporium. 5 June 2007.
"Growing Roses the Organic Way". 2005. Organic Rose Gardening. 6 June 2007.
"Rose". 2006. 6 June 2007.

Created by: Nicole D, 2007.