Rosa carolina / Carolina Rose


One of our beautiful native roses, growing in a variety of open and semi-shaded dry habitats. A low shrub with rose-pink blooms, simple and charming. Its large rose hips are rich in vitamin C and make a fine tea. Pink five-petaled flowers are attract a wide diversity of pollinators.

Host plant for numerous moth species, including the Polyphemus moth. See more below.

Height: 2′ – 4′        Blooms: June, July

Siting: Average to moist soil, sun to shade

Deer Resistance: Moderate

Provenance: NJ


A note on taxonomy: in our field experience, there is a fair amount of blurring between the species Rosa carolina and the species Rosa virginiana. Carolina rose is more exclusive to dry barren sunny areas, whereas Virginia rose seems a bit more likely to inhabit a moister edge. It is also common near the beach. Carolina rose is a shorter species and Virginia rose is taller. However, the classic characters used to divide the species — leaves glossy or not, stipules with or without parallel margins, characters of nodal and internodal prickles, number of flowers per inflorescence etc. are often hopelessly muddled in actual plants. Also, Virginia rose frequently inhabits Carolina rose territory — i.e. dry ridgelines with shallow soils. We suspect widespread hybridization, or else that these two species are in fact variable morphs of a single species.

We do our best to keep low, barrens-loving individuals sorted as Carolina rose and their more robust relatives categorized as Virginia rose. However, please expect that your rose from us may display characters atypical of a strict interpretation of the species. If a certain character is of critical importance to you, please contact us before ordering.

BONAP 2022 Rosa carolina Native Range Map

Larval Host Plant (moths):
Apple Sphinx
Black-blotched Schizura
Blinded Sphinx
Camouflaged Looper
Checkered-fringe Prominent
Cleft-headed Looper
Common Lytrosis
Crocus Geometer
Dot-lined White
Fringed Looper
Linden Looper
Norman’s Quaker
Polyphemus Moth
Purple-lined Sallow
Red-humped Caterpillar
Skiff Moth
Stinging Rose Caterpillar
Unicorn Caterpillar
White-dotted Prominent
White-marked tussock
Yellow-necked Caterpillar


Additional information


Quart, Two Quart