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Rosa californica
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California Wildrose
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Rosa californica

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About California Wildrose (Rosa californica) The California Wild Rose is a beautiful rose species that grows through the coast and foothills of California, and in the mountains up to elevations of 6000 feet. It is a deciduous thicket-forming shrub with prickly, curving stems. Each rose is open-faced and generally flat, with five petals in any shade of pink from almost white to deep magenta. The fragrant flowers may grow singly or in flower clusters of several blooms. It produces typical rose hips containing yellow seeds. The plant is native to arid regions and can survive drought, but it grows most abundantly in moist soils near water sources. It is most often used as a barrier planting in a garden where it can be allowed to form a large thicket. It can go summer dormant (or partially) if it doesn't get enough water. Berries may or may not happen, but California Wild Rose is still a good background foundation plant in leaf.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
8 - 10 ft (2.4 - 3 m)

Max. Width
10 ft (3.0 m)

Rounded, Mounding, Spreading

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate
Moderate, Fast

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Red, Pink, White

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Moist places and streambanks, springs, seeps, seasonal drainages

Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade

Elevation ?
-6' - 8144'

Annual Precip. ?
5.8" - 112.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 3.31"

Coldest Month ?
28.4° F - 57.0° F

Hottest Month ?
53.2° F - 80.9° F

Humidity ?
0.04 vpd - 29.77 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates clay but does best in moist loamy soil

Soil PH
5.0 - 8.0

Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Sunset Zones ?
2, 5, 6, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Meadow Rue (Thalictrum fendleri), Snowdrop Bush (Styrax officinalis), Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), Yellow Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus), Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), Brown Dogwood (Cornus glabrata) and Huckleberry (Vaccinum ovatum).

Wildlife Attracted
Bees, butterflies and birds

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

Water Requirement ?
Low, Moderate - High
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

It is typically used where it can expand at will and pruning is not needed. If used near a walkway or driveway it may need annual pruning to keep it neat and under control.

Common uses
Hedges, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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