Beach Rose, Rosa rugosa

Scientific Name:  Rosa rugosa
Common Name(s):
Beach Rose, Japanese Rose, Turkestan rose

to MAINE                                    
Final edit needed. 

Research Summary
: Mina B.

My species, the Rosa rugosa, was challenging to research at times but easy at others. 
Since I had a plant that could be sold, I found a lot of resources telling me how and where to buy my species rather than how it was invasive. Most of my information came from PDFs, although some came from websites.  The websites that I did get information from had mostly the same facts, so I had to go to a lot of different ones to get good information.  I knew that it was going to be hard so it didn’t surprise me that much.   
The most interesting thing that I found out about the Rosa rugosa was that the animals that eat my plant only eat the rose hips and not the flowers or leaves. Isn't that weird?

Identifying Characteristics

  • Flowers can grow up to 2 inches across.
  • They can be white, dark pink or light pink depending on the place.
    Has 5-7 petals per flower. 
  • Has shiny deep red small fruit. 
  • The fruit is about 1 inch in diameter.
  • Surface of the leaves are wrinkled, dark green, and smooth on the top and sticky on the bottom.
  • They are about 8-10 centimeters across.
  • They are ovate and elliptic in shape
  • There are 7-9 leaflets per leaf.
  • Woody/prickly.
  • The bark is light brown with prickles all over it.
  • It can grow to 3- 6.5 feet tall.


Taxonomy of Species
   Scientific Classification
 What That Classification Means
 Kingdom  Plantea  Many- celled, eukaryotic (with a nucleus), make their own food.
 Phylum  Magnoliophyta  A flowering plant that produces seeds in an enclosed ovary.
 Class  Magnoliopida  Seed plants that produce an embryo (an organism in its early stages of
 Order  Rosales  It is an order of a flowering plant.
 Family  Rosaceae  A large family of flowering plants.
 Genus  Rosa
 Large genus of straight or climbing prickly shrubs including roses.
 Species  Rugosa  It means Japanese Rose.

Similar species include: The rosa spp. or wild roses such as the multiflora rose. Also similar to the

Identifying Characteristics
 Origin/ Native Range
 Is native to Asia: Japan, China, and Korea.
  • Known in New England for so long that it is thought to be native.
  • Reported to be seen on a Nantucket, MA roadside in 1899 and was reported to be spreading to many other places in New England by 1911.
  • Well established on Nantucket Island and in Connecticut by 1920.  
Spread of Species
  • Birds and other animals eat off all of the berries from the bush and walk, crawl or fly away to new locations and the plant spreads.
  • People buy the rose hips or the plant and can travel with them. 
  • Commonly planted as an ornamental along highways because of its high salt-tolerance.
Where is it now invasive?
  • It is invasive to Maine and most of New England.
  • In the U.S.A it is invasive to 21 states including Maine. Those state include Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Is this species in Maine?
 This species is in Maine.
Where has it been identified?
  • On most beaches and many yards and gardens in Maine and New England.
  • It is in most or all coastal counties and is considered naturalized by many.
How was this species introduced?
  People planted it in their gardens and it is used to control beach erosion.

Natural Environment
  Likes to live on sandy dunes, shores, rock cliffs or ledges, roadsides, vacant lots, open and
 disturbed areas,  and isn't picky about the soil.
Climate and Temperature Range
 It likes it where the temperature varies and grows almost anywhere.

Ecological Interactions  Producer.
 My species gets its nutrition from the sun through the process called photosynthesis.
Consumed By
  • Birds and a lot of small animals like to eat the berries from it. 
  • Most small birds like a chickadees or robins, and small animals like a chipmunk, squirrel, and aphids.

  • They push out the close native plant life that are near and displace animal species that depend on threatened plants.
  • There are no more native species around it when it takes over.
  • They control erosion on shores and river banks.
  • They take over our dunes.
  If they are blocking path ways we can't walk through them, because they are too prickly.
  • Denmark uses images of it to put on post cards and tourist brochures to get people to come over there, because of the wonderful colors on the flowers.
  • It can be bought in many places,  including Maine but it is bad for native species.

Biological There is no insect or fungal control.
Mechanical/Manual  You can use a weed whacker or a bush hog (rotating cutters used on the farm) to get rid of the
 Rosa rugosa.
  • People always want to buy the plant in nurseries. 
  • We should try to change the way people think about it.
  • We have to stop using the plant in the countryside for plantings.
  • Applying herbicides on the Rosa rugosa and bleach.
  • The chemicals are not very good for the environment. 
  • So many people don't want to cut it down because of its beauty.
  • It was introduced to Europe in the 18th century.