- Rosa rugosa is a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub. Stems are erect to arching, to 5 ft (1.5 m), often much branched, tomentose when young and densely prickly. Prickles from large to small are slender and straight. Larger prickles near the base may be tomentose and are usually glabrous at the point. It sends out woody rhizomes which can expand or create infestations.
- Leaves are alternate with 5–9 leaflets about 0.8-2 in (2–5 cm) long by 0.6-1.2 in (1.5–3 cm) wide. Leaflets are widely elliptical, acute, with broadly cuneate or rounded base. Leaf tops are leathery, dark green, conspicuously bullate or rugose, and rather shiny. Back of leaves are green-grey, hairy with netlike veins. Leaf margin bluntly and simply crenate-serrate, involute, edge of teeth often deflexed. Petiole and rachis are hairy, with many prickles. Stipules are pale green, hairy, 1 x 0.4-0.6 in (2.5 × 1–1.5 cm), divergent, the free part broadly ovate or deltoid.
- Flowers usually solitary or few together, 2.4-3.5 in (6–9 cm) across and fragrant. The five petals vary in color from bright purplish-pink to white. There are 200–250 stamens per flower, and usually more than a hundred styles.
- Fruit is a hip as in other roses. Hips begin dull green to orange ripening to glossy and brilliant red.
- Ecological Threat
- R. rugosa can tolerate some salinity and has become an invasive problem in many coastal regions, where it can form monotypic stands. It can change A native of temperate and coastal areas of East Asia, it was has been introduced around the world for ornamental purposes. It is now found in natural areas in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America.