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Japanese Rose

Rosa rugosa

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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, 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, 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
Beaches, gardens, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, parks, roadsides, saltmarshes, sand dunes, scrub, seaside, wasteland.

Variable in colour, 5 petals
Japanese Roses, also known as "Nihon Bara" in Japanese, are exquisite blooms that grace gardens with their beauty. These flowers boast delicate petals in various shades, ranging from soft pinks to vibrant reds. The blossoms are characterized by their intricate layers and captivating fragrance, creating a visually stunning and aromatic spectacle. As they bloom, Japanese Roses showcase a graceful elegance that is complemented by the surrounding greenery. The floral arrangement is a testament to nature's artistry, making it a delightful experience for those who appreciate the charm of a well-tended garden.
Japanese Roses do not typically refer to a type of fruit. Instead, they are associated with a variety of ornamental roses grown for their beautiful and fragrant flowers. If you were referring to a specific fruit, please provide more details or specify the fruit name, and I'd be happy to provide information on that.
A deciduous scrambling shrub. Dark green, pinnate leaves that are ridged above and pale and downy beneath, up to 15cm long. There are between 5 and 9 leaflets with serrated margins. Each leaflet is up to 4cm long. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stems.
The fragrance of Japanese Roses are a delicate and captivating blend of floral notes. The blooms emit a sweet and subtle aroma, with hints of soft petals and a gentle, soothing undertone. The fragrance is often described as elegant and charming, adding a touch of natural beauty to the surroundings. It creates a pleasant and inviting atmosphere, making the experience of being near Japanese Roses a sensory delight for those who appreciate the subtle allure of floral scents.
Other Names:
Beach Rose, Ramanas Rose, Rugosa Rose, Rugose Rose, Saltspray Rose, Sea Rose, Wrinkled Rose.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Rosa rugosa is a species of rose that is native to Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. It is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 6-8ft tall and wide. The leaves are dark green, glossy, and have small spines along the edges. The flowers are large, single, and fragrant, with a wide range of colors including white, pink, red and purple, they are followed by large, red, orange or yellow hips (seed capsules) that are rich in vitamin C and other nutrients. The plant blooms in summer to fall. It prefers well-drained soil, and it can tolerate salt, wind, and drought. It is known for its hardiness, resistance to pests and diseases, and its ability to self-seed. It is often used as a hedge, barrier, or in landscaping and it is also popular for its medicinal properties and the production of rose hips.


Japanese rose, also known as Rosa rugosa, is a beautiful flowering shrub that is native to eastern Asia. With its showy, fragrant blooms and hardy nature, this plant has become a popular ornamental plant in gardens and parks around the world.


Rosa rugosa is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 8 feet tall and equally wide. Its leaves are dark green and glossy, with a wrinkled texture that gives them a unique appearance. The flowers of the Japanese rose are typically pink or white and can grow up to 4 inches in diameter. The blooms have a strong, sweet fragrance that is especially noticeable in the evenings.


One of the main benefits of Japanese rose is its hardiness. It is able to grow in a wide range of climates and can tolerate both high and low temperatures. This makes it an ideal plant for gardeners who live in areas with extreme weather conditions. In addition to its hardiness, the Japanese rose is also resistant to many common plant diseases and pests.

Another benefit of this plant is its ability to attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. The nectar from the flowers is a valuable food source for these insects, which in turn helps to promote healthy ecosystems.


Japanese rose has a long history of use in traditional medicine. The plant's fruit, known as rose hips, is a rich source of vitamin C and has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Rose hip tea is also a popular beverage in many parts of the world.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Japanese rose is also a popular ingredient in cosmetics and skincare products. The plant's essential oil is used in many perfumes and skin creams, and its extract is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Gardening tips

If you are interested in growing Japanese rose in your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, this plant prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. It is also important to prune the plant regularly to promote healthy growth and prevent it from becoming too large.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Japanese rose can spread easily, so it is best to plant it in an area where it has plenty of room to grow. You may also want to consider planting it in a container to prevent it from spreading into other parts of your garden.


Rosa rugosa is a tough, hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade, and can tolerate a range of soil types, including sandy and clay soils. Once established, it can withstand periods of drought and high winds, making it an ideal plant for coastal regions.


The easiest way to propagate Japanese rose is through cuttings. Take a stem cutting in the summer or fall, about 6 inches long, and remove the leaves from the bottom half. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and plant it in a pot filled with potting mix. Keep the soil moist and in a warm, bright place, and the cutting should root in a few weeks. Once it has rooted, transplant it into the ground or into a larger pot.


The fruit of the Japanese rose, known as rose hips, is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and is commonly used to make tea, jam, syrup, and wine. Rose hip oil, extracted from the seeds of the fruit, is used in skincare products for its moisturizing and anti-aging properties.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Japanese rose is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and parks. Its fragrant, showy flowers make it an attractive addition to borders, hedges, and mass plantings. The plant's thorny branches also make it an effective barrier or privacy screen.


There are several varieties of Rosa rugosa available, including:

  • 'Alba' - a white-flowering variety
  • 'Rubra' - a deep pink-flowering variety
  • 'Scabrosa' - a double-flowered variety with fragrant, purple blooms
  • 'Hansa' - a deep pink-flowering variety with large, fragrant blooms

Some Japanese Rose Facts

  1. Scientific Name: Rosa rugosa is a species of rose native to eastern Asia, including Japan.

  2. Appearance: Rugosa roses are known for their distinctive wrinkled or "rugose" leaves, which are dark green and have a rough texture. The flowers are usually large, single, and come in various colours, including pink, white, and red.

  3. Fragrance: Many rugosa roses have a strong and pleasant fragrance, adding to their appeal in gardens.

  4. Hardiness: Rugosa roses are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions. They are often used in coastal areas due to their salt tolerance.

  5. Hips: After flowering, rugosa roses produce large, colourful hips (fruit) that persist into winter. These hips are rich in vitamin C and can be used to make rose hip jelly or tea.

  6. Disease Resistance: Rugosa roses are known for their resistance to common rose diseases like blackspot.

  7. Uses: Besides ornamental purposes, rugosa roses are sometimes used in erosion control and as a hedge plant.

  8. Cultural Significance: In Japan, roses, in general, are culturally significant and are often featured in art, literature, and traditional ceremonies.


Video 1: Japanese Rose filmed on the 14th June 2022 in Adlington, Lancashire.


Video 2: The Japanese Rose filmed in Adlington, Lancashire on the 15th June 2022.

Video 3: Japanese Rose filmed at Hightown, Lancashire on the 20th May 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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