Rosa canina


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 and difficult to identify; they all have white or pink flowers, thorns and red hips in the winter. 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.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Dog-rose is an important shrub in the wild, providing shelter and food for wildlife, but it can also be a useful plant in your garden too - the nectar-filled flowers attract many insects which, in turn, attract birds that prey on them, and the rosehips attract small mammals. Try planting a few shrubs in your garden and see who comes to visit... To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Rosa canina
Trees and shrubs
Height: 1-5m Flower diameter: 4-6cm Hip length: 1-2cm
Conservation status