Rosa carolina

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Carolina rose 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central North America
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Other: Thorns


Best grown in average, medium to wet, well-drained soil in full sun. Best flowering and disease resistance occur in full sun. Water deeply and regularly (mornings are best). Avoid overhead watering. Good air circulation promotes vigorous and healthy growth and helps control foliar diseases. Summer mulch helps retain moisture and keep roots cool. Remove and destroy diseased leaves from plants (as practicable), and clean up and destroy dead leaves from the ground around the plants both during the growing season and as part of a thorough clean-up during winter (dormant season). Crowns appreciate protection in cold winter climates. Prune in late winter to early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rosa carolina, commonly called pasture rose, is a Missouri-native shrub which occurs in both dryish and wet soils throughout the State. Typically found in glades, open woods, prairies, along roads and railroads, and in wet soils along streams and swamps and low areas. Grows from 1-3' tall (less frequently to 6') and often spreads by suckers to form colonies or thickets in the wild. Features single (5-petaled), pink flowers (to 2.5" across) which bloom in May. No repeat bloom. Smooth, dark green foliage. Red hips in late summer.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for rose.

Specific epithet means of North or South Carolina.


Roses are susceptible to a large number of diseases, the most common of which are black spot, powdery mildew, rust and rose rosette. Although good cultural practices are the first line of defense in disease control, regular preventative fungicide applications throughout the growing season are generally required in humid climates with regular summer rainfall such as the St. Louis area. This species rose has better natural resistance to the aforementioned diseases than most hybrid roses. Potential insect problems include aphids, beetles, borers, scale, thrips, rose midges, leafhoppers and spider mites.


Mass in borders, rose garden, meadows, naturalized areas or native plant gardens.