Plant Data Sheet

















Species (common name, Latin name)

Wood's rose, Rosa woodsii



Wood's rose occurs from Minnesota west and northwest to Alaska and British Columbia, south to Arizona, northern Mexico and western Texas and north to western Kansas and North Dakota.  It is the most widespread native rose in Alberta.3


Climate, elevation

Wood's rose is seldom found where the average annual precipitation is less than 12 inches (260 mm).  It is variable in hardiness and climatic tolerance.  It will grow in moderate climates as well as alpine environments, which suggests that some plants can tolerate a cold, snowy climate with a short growing season.  Elevation varies from 3,500 to 11,700 Feet.3


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Generally found in Eastern Washington, it is also found in moist open ground and open woods in the east Columbia River Gorge.  It is plentiful.3


Habitat preferences

Wood's rose occurs on bluffs, dry grassy slopes, and on sandhills throughout the prairies.  It is also found on riverbanks and clearings in boreal and subalpine forests.  It is common on disturbed sites throughout the eastern slopes of the Rocky mountains and is especially prevalent along roadsides and south-facing cutbanks. Wood's rose is found throughout the Great Basin but prefers rather moist sites along streams or in seepage areas along fences.  When conditions are favorable, nearly impenetrable thickets of Wood's rose are formed along mountain streams. 1,3


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Wood's rose is an aggressive pioneer of abandoned fields, disturbed sites, gullies, and land cuts and fills.  In many cases Wood's rose occurs as a dominant or codominant under story species. 2,3

Associated species

Western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis), common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), fowl bluegrass (P. palustris), quackgrass (Agropyron repens), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), western river alder (Alnus incana), virginsbower (Clematis ligusticifolia), golden currant (Ribes aureum), coyote willow (Salix exigua), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), beardless wildrye (Elymus triticoides), sweet scented bedstraw (Galium triflorum), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). 3


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)



Collection restrictions or guidelines

Generally first flower and produce seed when they are 2 to 5 years old. 3


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

The seeds have a seed coat dormancy and require warm or cold stratification. 


Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)

The seeds remain viable for 2 to 5 years. 3

Recommended seed storage conditions

Refrigerated in sealed containers. 3


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

Cuttings, seed. 3


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Shallow, extremely sandy, dry or overly acidic or alkaline, it will succeed in difficult soils. 1,3


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

The Wood’s Rose is an excellent species for erosion control, and regenerating troubled areas. For this reason they are very useful in stabilizing stream banks where erosion is highly detrimental. Furthermore, it is not adversely affected by competition with grasses. 1,3


Recommended planting density

2.0 to 2.5 feet apart so a dense canopy forms2


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

Regular watering1


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

The Wood’s Rose is a rapid grower, even in areas with a very short growing season. 3


Sources cited

1) Hansen, W. Native Plants of the Northwest. April 12, 2006


2) Topeka, Lynn. Lewis & Clark's Columbia River.  http://englishriverwebsite.

     com/LewisClarkColumbiaRiver. April 12, 2006


3) USDA Forest Service. Fire Effects Information System. April 12, 2006


Data compiled by (student name and date)

Patrick Keegan  April 12, 2006.