Nootka Rose

Nootka rose (Rosa Nutkana)
Rosa nutkana var. nutkana

The Nootka rose is an attractive shrub growing up to 9′ high. The straight, erect stems are usually green, but occasionally may be reddish. The prickles are larger and thicker than those of the other native rose species.

The leaves are alternate on the stems and pinnately compound with 5-7 leaflets, dark green above, paler and slightly hairy below. The leaflets are elliptic or ovate in shape with serrate margins, and range from 1-7 cm long and 0.7-4.5 cm wide.

The sweet-scented, pink flowers are usually solitary, occasionally growing in groups of 2 or 3. They are large and showy, ranging from 5-8 cm across. Individual petals are 2.5-4 cm long, and 5 petals are the norm for the flowers. The rose hips are spherical, orange-red and large, ranging from 1-2 cm wide.


Wild rose is spindly and tends to form loose thickets, which in large spaces makes it useful as a hedgerow or as a wildlife-friendly ornamental. The leaves and fruits are important food sources for herbivores and upland game birds, and rose thickets provide excellent nesting and escape habitat for songbirds. The plant also has many traditional uses in Native American culture. Rose hips can be made into jam, tea, and used as flavoring, and the leaves have a variety of medicinal uses. Dried flower petals are used for scents and potpourri.


Nootka rose may be found in open upland woods or in open shrub wetlands. In areas where both Rosa nutkana and Rosa woodsii occur, the former may be found at higher elevations and often in woods.

  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Dry, Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Fire-resistant: Yes
  • Edible: Yes
  • Mature Height: 6-10ft
  • Mature Width:3-4ft