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Small Leaved Rose
Rosa minutifolia
About Small Leaved Rose (Rosa minutifolia) Nurseries Show All Photos Rosa minutifolia is a rare species known by the common names Baja rose and small-leafed rose. This is a very spiny, dense shrub native to the chaparral and maritime succulent scrub plant communities of Baja California and barely crossing the border into San Diego County where it's habitat has been almost completely destroyed. It is on CNPS list 2B.1 and is listed as Endangered by the state. It is being propagated at the San Diego Botanic Garden as a conservation measure, and it is grown elsewhere as an ornamental. The branches of the shrub are gray to red-tinted and covered in long and short spines. The shiny toothed leaves are composed of small leaflets only about half a centimeter wide. The blooms are generally bright pink with many yellow-anthered stamens and masses of prickles on the undersides. It is slow growing and individual plants remain fairly compact, unlike other wild roses. Though very drought tolerant, it accepts some summer water and will often bloom in response. It has a very long flowering season; with supplemental water it is essentially year round. It's a good choice for drought tolerant gardens especially in the southern coastal counties.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1 - 3.3 ft (0.3 - 1 m)

Max. Width
3 ft (0.9 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant, Slight

Growth Rate

Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Native to coastal bluffs, mesas and foothills where rain is sparse but there is some fog drip year round


Elevation ?
285' - 545'

Annual Precip. ?
10.7" - 11.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.25" - 0.32"

Coldest Month ?
53.0° F - 54.1° F

Hottest Month ?
71.8° F - 72.8° F

Humidity ?
1.66 vpd - 14.67 vpd

Soil Description
Typically sandy or derived from sedimentary rock, but also tolerates clay

Soil PH
6.5 - 8.0

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Wildlife Attracted
Insects, especially bees, are attracted to the flowers

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

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

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Common uses
Bird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Baja Rose, Small-leafed Rose, Small-leaved Rose

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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