Rosa glauca

Common Name: shrub rose 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Europe
Zone: 2 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 7.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Soft pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Colorful
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest, Thorns


Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained loams in full sun. Best foliage color may be in part shade, but best flowering and disease resistance generally 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, keeps roots cool and discourages weeds. 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 cleanup during winter (dormant season). Prune as needed in late winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Rosa glauca, native to mountain areas in central and southern Europe, is a species rose that is grown in gardens today for its attractive glaucous purple foliage and its tiny, soft pink flowers. Many gardeners consider the foliage to be the best ornamental feature. It is a vase-shaped suckering shrub that typically grows to 6-8’ tall. Foliage is an interesting blend of plum purple and gray green. Tiny slightly fragrant five-petaled flowers (to 1” diameter) appear in late spring. Flowers are followed by abundant orange-red hips that ripen in fall and usually persist well into winter. Reddish violet canes have very few thorns. Canes and hips provide winter interest. Synonymous with and formerly known as Rosa rubrifolia (rubri meaning red and folia meaning leaves in reference to the attractive foliage).

Genus name comes from the Latin name for rose.

Specific epithet means having a fine, whitish, powdery coating.


Roses are generally susceptible to a large number of disease problems, the most common of which are black spot, powdery mildew and rust. Although good cultural practices are the first line of defense in disease control, regular preventative fungicide applications throughout the growing season are often required, particularly in humid climates with regular rainfall such as the St. Louis area. Watch for rose rosette and virus problems, which require more aggressive action. Potential insect problems include aphids, beetles, borers, scale, thrips, leafhoppers and mites. If natural predators fail to control insect populations adequately, then insecticide applications may become necessary. Rosa glauca has good natural resistance to the common foliar diseases.


Excellent as a specimen or in small groups. Place at the rear of a perennial border. Naturalize in open woodland or shade gardens. Shrub borders. Hedge.