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Rosa Pakustris- Swamp Rose

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Rosa Palustris, more widely known as the swamp rose, is a member of the rose family that grows in marshy, acidic ground. It grows best with full sun, and it will survive seasonal flooding and some standing water. The swamp rose can be found over a wi

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The Swamp Rose (Rosa Palustris)

Rosa Palustris, more widely known as the swamp rose, is a member of the rose family that grows in marshy, acidic ground. It becomes best with full sun, and it will survive seasonal flooding and some standing water. The swamp rose can be found over a wide range of North America, from Nova Scotia and Minnesota to Florida. Its habitats include swamps, bogs, marshes, and ditches, preferably those with acidic peat, sand, or muck.

The swamp rose often grows in bald cypress swamps, where it sprouts on the cypress knees

This shrub grows to 3’-8’ tall, and its arching, woody branches create a circumference at least as wide. It spreads slowly by sending out suckers. Its stems are usually reddish, although they may also be light green, reddish green, or brown. Prickles are evenly spaced on the stems at opposite, 90-degree angles from each other. These prickles are curved, broad at the base, and ¼” long. The leaves of rosa palustris are odd-pinnate; there are typically seven leaflets, but 5 and sometimes nine also occur. Each leaflet is one ¼ - 2 ½” long and ½ -1” wide. They have a broad-elliptic shape with serrated edges. The upper side of the leaflets is dark green, while the lower is light green. The swamp rose has the large, fragrant flowers of the rose family, which last for 6 to 8 weeks (typically June through July). The flowers occur individually or in small groups of 2-4.

They have five dark to light pink petals with five green sepals and numerous yellow stamens in the center.

The very center of each flower is frequently pink or orange-red, a surprising contrast that is unusual among roses. The flowers have a diameter of 1 to 2 inches and are pollinated by long-tongued bees like bumblebees. The resulting fruit is red rose hips with hard seed coats that birds eat and spread.