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Small-flowered Sweetbriar

Rosa micrantha

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Fields, gardens, grassland, heathland, hedgerows, roadsides, scrub, sea cliffs, woodland.

Pink, 5 petals
Small pinkish flowers with numerous yellow stamens. The sepals are turned downwards. Flowers are slightly notched. Pollinated by bees.
Small, red fruits (hips).
Stalked, pinnate, toothed leaves. The stem prickles have wide bases and one side of the prickle arches inwards. Most common in southern England and southern Ireland. Rare as far north as Scotland.
The undersides of the leaves have sweet-smelling glands.
Other Names:
Smallflower Sweetbriar, Small-flowered Sweet-briar Rose, Small-flowered Wild Rose.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Rosa micrantha, also known as the small-flowered wild rose, is a species of wild rose that is native to China, Korea, and Japan. It is a deciduous shrub that typically grows to be 2-3 meters tall. The plant has a dense, thorny branching habit, and its leaves are dark green and glossy. Rosa micrantha produces clusters of small, pink or white flowers in early summer and red or orange hips in the fall. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and can grow in full sun or partial shade. It is often used as an ornamental plant or for hedging.


Small-flowered sweetbriar, also known as Rosa micrantha, is a beautiful and delicate species of rose that is native to the southern part of South America. With its small, fragrant flowers and elegant foliage, this rose is a favorite among gardeners and nature enthusiasts alike.

Appearance and Characteristics

Small-flowered sweetbriar is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 2 meters in height. Its leaves are composed of five to seven leaflets that have serrated edges and are light green in color. The small flowers, which typically bloom in late spring and early summer, are usually pink or white and have a sweet, delicate fragrance. The flowers are followed by small, red hips, which are an important source of food for birds and other wildlife.

Habitat and Distribution

Small-flowered sweetbriar is native to southern Chile and Argentina, where it grows in a variety of habitats, including forests, shrublands, and grasslands. It is also commonly found in disturbed areas, such as roadsides and abandoned fields.

Cultivation and Uses

Small-flowered sweetbriar is a popular ornamental plant that is cultivated in gardens and parks around the world. It is prized for its beautiful flowers and attractive foliage, as well as its hardiness and ease of cultivation. Small-flowered sweetbriar is also used in herbal medicine, where its leaves and hips are believed to have a number of health benefits.

In the garden, small-flowered sweetbriar is best planted in a sunny or partially shaded location with well-draining soil. It is a hardy plant that is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, but it prefers a moist, cool environment. The plant can be propagated from seeds or cuttings, and it is generally low-maintenance, requiring little fertilizer or pruning.

Small-flowered sweetbriar is a beautiful and versatile species of rose that is well-suited for a variety of garden settings. With its delicate flowers and attractive foliage, this plant is a popular choice among gardeners and nature enthusiasts. Whether used for ornamental purposes or for its medicinal properties, small-flowered sweetbriar is a valuable and beloved addition to any garden or landscape.

More Information

While small-flowered sweetbriar is known for its beauty, it also has a rich cultural history. In traditional South American medicine, the plant's leaves and hips have been used for a variety of health conditions, including stomach disorders, skin irritations, and respiratory problems. The plant has also been used as a natural dye, producing shades of red, pink, and purple.

In addition to its medicinal and ornamental uses, small-flowered sweetbriar is also important for its role in the environment. The plant provides food and habitat for a variety of birds and animals, including thrushes, finches, and rabbits. The hips of the plant are especially valuable for wildlife, as they are a source of nutrition during the winter months.

Despite its many benefits, small-flowered sweetbriar is also considered an invasive species in some regions, including parts of New Zealand and Australia. When introduced to these areas, the plant can quickly spread and displace native vegetation, disrupting local ecosystems. As a result, it is important for gardeners and land managers to be aware of the potential risks of planting small-flowered sweetbriar in non-native habitats.

Small-flowered sweetbriar is a fascinating and beautiful plant with a rich history and many uses. Whether grown for its ornamental value, its medicinal properties, or its importance to local ecosystems, this species of rose is a valuable and beloved addition to gardens and landscapes around the world.

Small-flowered sweetbriar is a member of the rose family, which includes over 100 species of roses. Like other roses, small-flowered sweetbriar is an important symbol in many cultures, representing love, beauty, and passion. In some cultures, the rose is also associated with spiritual enlightenment and inner transformation.

In traditional European folklore, the rose is often associated with fairies and other supernatural beings. In Celtic mythology, for example, the rose is considered a symbol of love and beauty, and is often associated with the goddess Brigid. In Christian tradition, the rose is often associated with the Virgin Mary, and is sometimes used as a symbol of the wounds of Christ.

In addition to its cultural and symbolic significance, small-flowered sweetbriar also has a number of practical uses. The plant's hips, which are high in vitamin C, have been used for centuries as a natural remedy for colds and flu. The hips can also be made into tea, syrup, or jam, and are a popular ingredient in traditional South American cuisine.

Small-flowered sweetbriar is also used in perfumery, where its delicate fragrance is used as a base note in many fragrances. The plant's essential oil is also used in aromatherapy, where it is believed to have a calming and soothing effect on the mind and body.

Small-flowered sweetbriar is a fascinating and versatile plant with many uses and cultural significance. Whether grown for its beauty, its medicinal properties, or its symbolic value, this species of rose is a cherished and important part of many cultures and traditions around the world.

Small-flowered sweetbriar is a plant that has captured the attention of plant breeders, horticulturists, and garden enthusiasts alike. There are many different cultivars of small-flowered sweetbriar available, each with its own unique characteristics and features.

One popular cultivar is 'Wild Edric', which is known for its pink flowers and sweet fragrance. Another cultivar, 'Raubritter', has deep red flowers and is highly disease-resistant, making it a popular choice for gardeners. 'Betty Bland', on the other hand, has white flowers and is highly fragrant, making it a popular choice for cut flowers and floral arrangements.

In addition to its ornamental value, small-flowered sweetbriar is also valued for its environmental benefits. The plant is highly tolerant of poor soil conditions, making it ideal for erosion control and soil stabilization. It is also highly attractive to pollinators, including bees and butterflies, and is often used in gardens and natural areas to support local populations of these important insects.

As with all plants, small-flowered sweetbriar faces a number of threats and challenges, including habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species. However, with careful management and conservation efforts, this plant can continue to thrive and provide value to both humans and the environment for years to come.

In conclusion, small-flowered sweetbriar is a beautiful and versatile plant with a rich cultural history, many practical uses, and important environmental benefits. Whether grown for its ornamental value, its medicinal properties, or its importance to local ecosystems, this species of rose is a valuable and beloved part of gardens and landscapes around the world.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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