Prairie Rose (Climbing Rose)
A high-climbing, trailing or leaning woody vine. In the open, a dense shrub.
Leaves alternate, feather-compound, leaflets commonly 3 on old stems, on new stems 3 or 5; leaflets lance- to egg-shaped, toothed, tip pointed, lateral leaflets short-stemmed, terminal leaflet long-stemmed. Stipules at leaf bases have smooth margins.
Twigs flexible, smooth, green or reddish, thorns straw-colored or pale brown, ¼ inch long, often in pairs at the nodes.
Bark on older stems grayish-brown with scattered thorns.
Flowers late May-June, many-flowered clusters on new stems, large, to 3¼ inches wide, heavily perfumed; petals 5, pink (rarely white); stamens numerous.
Fruits September, red “hips,” about 3/8 inch long, fleshy, round to broadest above the middle, usually with gland-tipped hairs.
Similar species: Invasive, nonnative multiflora rose (R. multiflora) has comblike hairs on the stipules at the leaf bases, smaller flowers, and more leaflets per compound leaf.