Multiflora Rose

Multiflora rose leaves and flowers


Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) is a deciduous shrub with white flowers and red fruit. Brought here from Asia, it was planted as wildlife food, and also as a living fence, due to its dense growth and sharp thorns. It can grow to 10 feet high or more, and is typically wider than it is tall.

The Problem

It forms dense thickets in fields and field edges, crowding out other species. It also grows in open wetlands and in forests where canopy openings occur.

The Solution

One reportedly effective technique for fields is to mow 3 to 6 times a year for several years. In other areas, such as forests and wetlands, pulling or repeated cutting may be successful for removing small populations. Larger populations may require the use of systemic herbicides, which can be applied directly to freshly cut stems or as a foliar spray. Control of this species in wetlands is subject to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act; be sure to check with the local conservation commission. Always read and follow the directions on the label when using herbicide. In wetlands, only use herbicides registered for use in these areas.