Swamp Rose



Botanical Name:  Rosa palustris

Common Name:  Swamp Rose

Description:  Did you know that we have roses that are native to Florida?? Why, yes, we do! Let me introduce you to the beautiful, native Swamp Rose.

Swamp rose is a deciduous flowering shrub found along river and stream banks and in floodplain swamps, freshwater marshes, and ditches. It likes moist to boggy soil, but doesn’t like to be continuously in standing water. Obviously it isn’t drought tolerant. It’ll adapt to a normal watering situation in your garden, just be sure to give it supplemental water during drought times. It would be a great addition to your rain garden, that wet spot by the downspout, a low spot in the garden, or that boggy area you don’t know what to plant in it.

Its flowers are pinkish/white with yellow stamens, and they bloom spring through summer. The blooms are single, meaning they have five petals, and are about 2″ in diameter. They might not be full and blowsy, but they do have a wonderful fragrance. It produces very pretty red hips in the fall and winter that are eaten by birds and small mammals. It’ll grow 6-8′ tall, with a beautiful arching habit. Swamp rose spreads by underground runners and can form thickets. Do not plant where its thorn-like prickles will pose a problem. It likes to be planted in a sun, part sun, or part shade area of your garden. Yep, it’s one of the few roses that can tolerate some shade and still bloom. But I wouldn’t plant it in a very deep shade area. It grows best in slightly acidic soil, which we have in our area. The leaves are small and dainty, and they usually turn a very pretty color of red before going dormant in the fall. Very cold hardy. If pruning is needed, do it as soon as possible after it is finished blooming.

Swamp rose is of special value to our native bees and bumble bees. It also provides nesting material/structure for the native bees. And it attracts a variety of pollinators including butterflies.

This native rose is generally not susceptible to the disease and insect pests that attack many of the hybrid roses. Which means you don’t need to spend your time spraying it with fungicides.

Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.

The Swamp Rose is grown on its own roots.

This plant in 3-gallon containers is 2-4′ tall.

Interesting Tidbit:  Like most roses, Swamp rose’s petals and hips can be used to infuse liquids such as syrups or vinegars, and to make wine, tea, jelly or syrup. Rose hips are an accessory fruit that form after pollination. They are high in vitamin C.

Hardiness Zones 4 – 9



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