The Rugosa Rose:
Wild Roses need Less Attention


Also known as Japanese rose and Ramanas rose, this wild beauty is a flowering shrub native to Asia where it grows along the coastline in sandy soiled areas. The name ‘Rugosa’ actually comes from the Japanese word ‘Hamansu’ which means ‘shore pear’ mostly due to its prickly bush-like foliage.


The Rugosa Roserugosa rose is known for its sweetly scented leaves and beautiful flower heads that are usually dark pink to white and have a slightly crinkled petal. A true ornamental flower typical of the Oriental taste. It flowers all summer finally being replaced by rich red rose hips in the early winter months.


Roses in general, are renowned for their need of attention and demanding nature which sometimes deter people from wanting to plant them as they may not have the time or inclination to tend them as much as they will need. Not so with this species of rose with its hardiness and independence so typical of “wild” to begin with.


 The Rugosa rose is unlike the standard rose – it needs only a good drainage system and yearly pruning in order for it to survive most conditions. It will grow in many soil types with varied areas of sunlight. It is not in need of constant attention and cultivation to remain strong and healthy.


All rose plants are susceptible to diseases and pests far more than most other flowers and plants. The Rogosa rose will also be most likely attacked by one or both of these afflictions at some point, yet due it its innate strength and characteristics you will find that it can cope far better than most roses and will be unaffected. Recovery is quick from any damage that may have been done – no worry there either.


Propagation of a Rugosa rose is not a daunting task, sow it from seed or a variety of cuttings made from a fully grown plant. Once in place and you have given it a good watering, there is little else that this plant will need. It can sustain a lot of salt and chemicals in the air. Planting it near roads or windows is worry free of any contamination that may affect it.


Planting this rose species near outdoor seating areas or open windows will offer its beautiful wafting aroma for days on end. It grows well on its own or as part of a group. Try it as a hedgerow or edging plant.


All wild flowers are robust – this will to live with little attention offers the busy rose grower a way to have it all; carefree roses that provide delight and enchantment pleasing all of the senses. Only the Rugosa rose, a very fresh, happy flower from Asia offers so much and asks so little.


Esther B. Smith, author
There are so many stories that follow the different roses, one cannot help but be impressed by some of these; the Rugosa Rose, for instance, coming from the Japanese word that means "shore pear" because it grows wild along the sandy beaches. We have more stories here: