Dog-rose

©Richard Burkmarr

Dog-rose

©Philip Precey

Dog-rose

Scientific name: Rosa canina
Look for the pinky-white flowers of the Dog-rose in summer, and its bright red rosehips in autumn. It is a scrambling shrub of hedgerows, woodlands and grasslands.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 1-5m

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

The Dog-rose is a scrambling shrub, found in hedgerows, woodland edges, on sand dunes and grasslands. It is the most abundant of our native, wild roses, with sweet-scented pink or white flowers that appear in June and July. In the autumn, it produces bright red rosehips that are often eaten by birds and small mammals, such as bank voles.

How to identify

There are many species of wild rose, which are all very similar, with white or pink flowers, thorns and red hips. The deciduous Dog-rose has arching stems with curved thorns, blue-green leaves divided into five to seven hairless leaflets, and pink or white flowers (with five petals) often growing in clusters of two or three.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Rosehips are a good source of vitamin C, and can be collected and used to make sweet, rosehip syrups and jellies.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.