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Swamp Rose, Marsh Rose - Rosa palustris


Family: Rosaceae - Rose family Genus Common Name: Rose Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Subshrub
Rosa palustris - Swamp Rose, Marsh Rose. Rosa palustris is found in every state east of the Mississippi River, as well as 4 states on the west side of that river. It is also found in eastern Canada. As the common names indicate, it is a shub of wetlands that grows up to 7 feet tall, and will even grow in standing water. Similar Rosa virginiana is a plant of drier ground.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV

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Rosa palustris

Distribution of Rosa palustris in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 26 Apr 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Riverwalk, Amnicola Marsh, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-June-24Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The fragrant, pale pink blossoms of Swamp Rose are up to about 2 inches across. While frequently solitary at the end of the stem, there may be several blossoms in each inflorescence. It blooms for 6 to 8 weeks usually in June through July. Each of the 5 petals is notched at the end, although that is not easily seen in this photo.
Rosa palustris

Site: Riverwalk, Amnicola Marsh, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-June-24Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The hypanthium of Rosa palustris is reported to have more than 86 glands. I didnít count them.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Rosa palustris

Site: Riverwalk, Amnicola Marsh, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-June-24Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The number of leaflets on a leaf is frequently a key for identifying members of Rosa. Rosa palustris usually has 5 or 7 (more frequently 7) leaflets. The leaflets have many small teeth on them - each side of the terminal leaflet usually will have 20 to 30 small teeth. Similar Rosa virginiana has slightly larger teeth, generally fewer than 20 per side. What you see here in the background are co-habitant blackberries, not rose hips, although the fleshy fruit of Swamp Rose are a good food source for birds.
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Rosa palustris

Site: Riverwalk, Amnicola Marsh, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2014-January-12Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The fruit (hips) of Rosa palustris are about 1/2 inch across. Note that the glands found on the hypanthia during inflorescence remain on the fruit.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Rosa palustris

Site: Riverwalk, Amnicola Marsh, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-June-24Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The stipule on the petiole of Rosa palustris is long, narrow, and winged. Those of Rosa virginia are wider, almost giving the appearance of another pair of leaflets.
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Rosa palustris

Site: Riverwalk, Amnicola Marsh, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2013-June-24Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
While the new stems of Swamp Rose do not have prickles, the older branches do have curved (although this one only slightly) or hooked prickles.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Rosa palustris

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer