Plant Data Sheet


Baldhip Rose, Little Wild Rose / Rosa gymnocarpa           



Southern British Columbia south to the Sierra Nevada in California and east to western Montana and Idaho (1)


Climate, Elevation

1,500 meters or less (1)


Local occurrence

Moist, shaded forest of the PNW, well adapted to mesic-coniferous understories, grows best on eastern and southern exposures; found in mountainous and riparian areas (1)


Habitat preferences

Will grow in full sunlight but has a higher survival rate in the shade (1) prefers a moist, not wet, location with filtered sunlight, moderately tolerant of drought (2)


Plant strategy type/successional stage

Low shrub layer, shade tolerant, persist from the initial plant community to climax (1)


Associated species

Mahonia nervosa, Gaultheria shallon, Physocarpus malvaceus, Holodiscus discolor, Mahonia repens, Vaccinium membranaceum, Rubus parviflorus (1)


Collection restrictions or guidelines

Baldhip rose attains sexual maturity at 3-5 years; it flowers in late spring early summer, hips appear at the end of July and remain on the plant throughout the winter (1)


Seed germination

Inside the hips are the seeds, covered in a thick hair which irritates the digestive tract when eaten; seeds can be collected and sown outdoors in the fall, but germination can take up to two years; however, scarification may speed up the process, scarify the seed by nicking with a knife or rubbing with a nail file or sand paper, then stratify by placing in moist peat moss at cold temperatures for 2-3 weeks (2)


Vegetative regeneration

Sprouts from the root crown and rhizomes (1)


Seed life



Recommended seed storage conditions

Propagation recommendations

Carefully remove the suckers and transplant; semi-ripe cuttings taken in the summer, but do not disturb for at least a year;


Soil or medium requirements

Coarse textured, well drained soils such as sandy loams, loamy sands, and cobbly loams (1), prefers an alkaline soil (pH 6-8) (2)


Installation form

Transplanted suckers or containerized plants from cuttings


Recommended planting density


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Grows quickly to 3 feet, but does not spread as fully as other wild roses, remaining a slender shrub (2)


Sources cited

(1) Reed, W.R.  1993.  Rosa gymnocarpa.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (2003, May). Fire Effects Information System,

(2) Hansen, W.W.  2002.  Rosa gymnocarpa (Bald-Hip Rose, Little Wild Rose).  Native Plants of the Northwest.


Data compiled by: Lizbeth Seebacher  May 23, 2003