Fact Sheet

Multiflora Rose


Rosa multiflora | Common names: Multiflower Rose, Rambler Rose


Multiflora Rose is a woody shrub that grows up to 3 m tall and 4 m wide. Its stem is green to red with stiff, curved thorns. Leaves are compound, with 5–11 oblong, oval leaflets with serrated edges. The upper surface of the leaves is smooth, while the underside is paler with short hairs. Flowers are white to pinkish, 1.3–2 cm wide, appearing in clusters at the end of branches, and blooming in late May through June. Rosehips are small – 6 mm or less – and green to bright red.

Habitat & Impact

Multiflora Rose invades a variety of environments. It can grow, for example, in open woodlots, forests, marshes, swamp edges, and in disturbed areas. It is often found in hedgerows, gardens, and along trails. It prefers locations with full sun, but can tolerate moderate shade. It is able to outcompete most native plants, and reduces biodiversity in habitats where it establishes.


Multiflora Rose was brought to northeastern North America as an ornamental plant in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

Native Alternative

Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana) is a beautiful native species, and sometimes considered the best all-around wild rose, with attractive flowers and excellent fall colours.

Virginia Rose
Multiflora rose

Interesting Fact

Multiflora Rose was once planted in highway medians to reduce oncoming traffic headlight glare. In addition, due to its rapid and dense growth, it acted as a natural crash barrier to help stop out-of-control vehicles!

Stewardship Actions

Promote the use of attractive, native roses for gardens and landscaping. Dig out, mow, or uproot plants. If you spot this invasive species, report the location to iNaturalist, or directly to the NSISC.