The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Going Native: Climbing Prairie Rose


Climbing prairie rose, Rosa setigera, is another native rose I planted in my garden two years ago. I planted it along our fence line to hide the chain link and to offer privacy. It receives a fair amount of sun and has grown amazingly fast. Other than to train it slightly to grow along the fence and handmade trellis, I have done nothing to maintain this rose. This is the first season it bloomed. I expected a few blooms, but not this:

It smells like a rose. It also offers pollen and hips. I look forward to seeing the bright red hips this winter. Pollinators attracted to this rose include Syrphid flies and various bees: honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorine bees, Miner bees, large Leaf-Cutting bees, and Halictine bees. Birds are attracted to the hips. (I hope to witness this firsthand.)

This rose is classified as a shrub 6-8′ H, but is easily trained to climb. Some of my branches are quite long and I simply direct them to grow along the fence.

The leaves turn a nice red color in fall. For someone who knows nothing about roses, I am really thrilled to have two native roses now growing (organically) and blooming in my garden. (To learn more about swamp rose, Rosa pulustris, click here.) If you, too, have a fear of growing roses thinking they are fussy and need gallons of chemical sprays, give the native prairie rose a try!


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

4 thoughts on “Going Native: Climbing Prairie Rose

  1. This is a really nice looking native rose, and I agree the bright red hips seen in the winter is a nice added bonus.I may try a native rose along the fence next year.Heather

  2. Fabulous! I never thought about training one as a climbing rose, but yours is really gorgeous.

  3. that is a superb plant, the flowers are lovely and the overall shape it grows is lovely and obviously so well suited to its position. I am currently having difficulty covering a fence, I think because it doesn't get much sun. But I only want non fussy things in my garden, just like these roses. Inspiring post, thank you, tvf. cheers, cm

  4. Lovelt Rose. It looks very much like the Rose that grows wild in Ireland, Rosa Canina.

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