Open the Advanced Search

Small-leaved Sweetbriar

Rosa agrestis

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.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


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-flowered 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
Grassland, hedgerows, meadows, scrub, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Pink or white flowers. Flowers are 2 to 4cm across.
Rose hips. The red rose hips are smaller than those of Sweet Briar (Rosa rubiginosa).
Pinnate leaves, toothed. 5 to 9 leaflets. Very similar in appearance to Sweet Briar (Rosa rubiginosa) but with narrower leaflets.
Other Names:
Field Briar, Field Rose, Fieldbriar, Wild Rose.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Rosa agrestis, also known as the wild rose or the field rose, is a species of wild rose that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It is a hardy and adaptable plant that can grow in a variety of soils and habitats, including meadows, woods, and hedgerows. Rosa agrestis has single pink or red flowers that bloom in the spring and early summer. The plant's hips, which are the fruit of the rose, are red and contain seeds that are a food source for birds and other wildlife.


Rosa agrestis, commonly known as Small-leaved Sweetbriar, is a species of wild rose that can be found in many regions around the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America. It is a member of the Rosaceae family, which includes many popular flowering plants such as peaches, apples, and strawberries. Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a relatively small shrub that typically grows to around one meter in height, with a spreading habit and prickly stems.

One of the most striking features of Small-leaved Sweetbriar is its small leaves, which are deeply lobed and arranged in pairs along the stem. The leaves are typically dark green in color, with a slightly glossy sheen, and can turn reddish or yellowish in the autumn. Small-leaved Sweetbriar also produces lovely pink or white flowers in the summer, which are attractive to bees and other pollinators. These flowers are followed by small, red, pear-shaped fruits, which are edible but not particularly flavorful.

Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a hardy and adaptable plant that can grow in a wide range of conditions, from sunny meadows and hillsides to shady woodlands and hedgerows. It prefers well-drained soils and can tolerate a range of pH levels, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. In the wild, it often forms dense thickets that provide cover and food for a variety of wildlife, including birds, small mammals, and insects.

One of the most interesting aspects of Small-leaved Sweetbriar is its history of use by humans. The plant has been used for centuries for a variety of purposes, including as a medicinal herb, a food source, and a fragrance. In traditional medicine, the leaves and hips of the plant were used to treat a range of ailments, from sore throats to diarrhea. The hips were also made into jams, jellies, and teas, and were a valuable source of vitamin C during the winter months. The leaves and flowers of the plant were also used to make a fragrant tea that was said to have a calming effect.

Small-leaved Sweetbriar is an attractive and useful plant that can bring beauty and wildlife to any garden or landscape. Its hardiness and adaptability make it an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a low-maintenance, native plant that can thrive in a variety of conditions. Whether you are interested in its history, its uses, or simply its beauty, Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a plant that is sure to captivate and delight.

Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a wonderful addition to any garden, especially for those who want to attract wildlife. The plant's prickly stems provide cover and shelter for birds and small mammals, while its flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. In addition, the plant's edible fruits provide food for birds and other wildlife during the winter months.

In terms of cultivation, Small-leaved Sweetbriar is relatively easy to grow and care for. It can be propagated from seed, but it is often easier to propagate from cuttings taken in the summer or early autumn. Once established, the plant requires minimal watering and can tolerate some drought. However, it should be pruned regularly to keep its shape and prevent it from becoming too dense.

Small-leaved Sweetbriar is also a valuable plant for conservation efforts. In some regions, it is considered an invasive species, as it can form dense thickets that crowd out native plants. However, in other regions, it is a rare and threatened species that requires protection and conservation efforts. By planting Small-leaved Sweetbriar in your garden, you can help support conservation efforts and protect this important and valuable plant.

Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a lovely and fascinating plant that offers many benefits to gardeners and conservationists alike. With its small leaves, lovely flowers, and edible fruits, it is a valuable addition to any garden. Whether you are interested in its beauty, its history, or its usefulness, Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a plant that is well worth exploring and cultivating.

Small-leaved Sweetbriar has a long history of use in traditional medicine. The plant was used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections, digestive problems, and skin conditions. The leaves and flowers of the plant were also used to make a fragrant tea that was said to have a calming effect on the mind and body.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Small-leaved Sweetbriar has been used for centuries in perfumery and cosmetics. The plant contains essential oils that give it a distinctive fragrance, which is often described as sweet and fruity. The oil is used to add fragrance to a variety of products, including perfumes, soaps, and lotions.

Small-leaved Sweetbriar is also a popular choice for herbal teas and infusions. The tea made from the plant's leaves and flowers is said to have a variety of health benefits, including helping to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Finally, Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a valuable plant for ecological restoration and reforestation efforts. The plant is well-suited to growing in degraded and disturbed soils, and can help to stabilize soil and prevent erosion. Its dense thickets can also provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, including birds, small mammals, and insects.

Overall, Small-leaved Sweetbriar is a versatile and valuable plant with a long and fascinating history. Whether you are interested in its beauty, its medicinal properties, or its ecological value, it is a plant that is well worth exploring and cultivating.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map