Rosa eglanteria L.
Rosa rubiginosa L.
Sweet-brier, Sweetbrier, Sweetbriar
Sweetbrier hails from Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. It was introduced to North America prior to 1551, and has become naturalized here.
Identification: This shrub is 6½-9½' (2-3 m) high. Stems have many stout curved thorns (though not nearly as many as rugosa rose). The foliage smells like apples. Leaves are odd pinnate—occurring in clusters of 5 or 7 evenly sized opposite leaves with the odd leaf at the end of the branch. Individual leaves are about ½" (1.3 cm) long, oval, with double serrations. Flowers are in loose clusters of one to eight, each 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 cm) around, pink or bright pink, with 5 petals. Fruits are up to ⅞" (2.5 cm) in diameter, bright red-orange, sometimes elongated into ovals.
See our wild rose comparison guide for further information.
Edibility: Although the fruit can be cooked and used for jam, it is a frustrating process, since the usable portion of the fruit is a thin layer above the seeds, and the seeds are encased in hairlike fibers that can irritate the mouth and digestive tract if accidentally eaten. Petals are edible if the bitter white bases are first removed. Young shoots are edible as well.
Rosa eglanteria on CalPhotos
Rosa eglanteria on Turner Photographics' Wildflowers site
Rosa eglanteria on Wikipedia
Rosa eglanteria at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium
Rosa eglanteria on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Rosa eglanteria at the Missouri Botanical Garden
Rosa eglanteria description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Oct 2013.
Range: Zones 4-9: