What we call ‘Wild roses’ are the species roses, those that we would naturally find in the wild. And with around 150 species of roses identified the list is long.
Many are still grown today for the unique flowers, some such as Rosa multiflora are used for rootstock and others are sought after for medicinal purposes.
It is from these wild roses that all of the modern cultivars have been developed, so gardeners owe a a lot to these species roses and the hybridisers who have developed them into what we have today.
Some are grown for medicinal purposes such as Rosa canina.
Pruning Wild Roses
These roses are pruned differently to modern roses and are usually not pruned for the first 2 – 3 years.
As these are mainly shrub type roses with multiple stems or canes the simplest method of pruning is to remove 1/3 to 1/4 of the old canes each year once established.
These roses are also not deadheaded, they are left to develop the colourful hips which add interest through autumn to winter.
Fertilise in spring with a rose fertiliser, aged cow manure or any organic fertiliser.
A few notable Wild Roses are listed.
- Rosa gallica and Rosa moschata which give us Rosa × damascena which is grown for the oils.
- Rosa gigantiea
- Rosa moyesii – The Mandarin Rose
- Rosa serica – Winged Wild Rose
- Rosa soulieana – Soulié’s rose
- Rosa multiflora – Baby Rose, Japanese rose
- Rosa roxburghii – Chestnut Rose
- Rosa rugosa –
- Rosa bracteata –
- Rosa fedtschenkoana –
- Rosa banksiae –
- Rosa palustris – Swamp Rose
- Rosa woodsii – An evergreen rose from North America
- Rosa nutkana – Another evergreen rose from North America