Virginia Rose

Virginia_Rose_jpgThe Rosaceae family commonly called the Rose Family consists of 107 genera and 3,100 species of herbs, shrubs and trees; most common in temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere.  The family is of great economic importance, providing us with fruits such as apples, cherries, plums, peaches, raspberries and strawberries and with ornamentals. The name of the genus, Rosa, is the Latin name for “Rose” and the species name, virginiana, means the plant was first found there.         Thickets of wild roses are excellent nesting and protective cover for gamebirds and song birds. Rosesare edible as tea, jam, candy or emergency food.  The hips can be used to make a jam or tea.  The fresh petals can be added to salad or candied.  Since the hips are held on the bush through the winter, they make a survival food.  Rose hips are rich in vitamin C. Roses with their bitter-sweet paradox of sharp prickles and delicate blooms has many romantic associations.  Plants in the Rosaceae family are among the oldest flowers in cultivation and have been mentioned in poetic works since the dawn of civilization.  Every mythological belief assigned the rose as the symbolic emblem of beauty, youth and love. The white rose became the symbol of charm and innocence and the red rose of love and desire.


Low or Pasture Rose, Glossy Ros


Rosa virginiana






Woody Shrub


to 6 feet


September to October


Newfoundland to Virginia ~ Statewide but rare in Pine Barrens in New Jersey


Late May to late October


Stout branches ~ Leaves smooth, glossy,  oblong to oval, coarsely toothed, few internodal prickles ~ Flowers pink, singly or in small clusters on stems from old wood ~ Fruit (hip) round, red