Showy pink flower of Rosa gymnocarpa, Baldhip Rose, another stunning Northwest Native shrub available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon
Rosa gymnocarpa, Baldhip Rose, another stunning Northwest Native shrub available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon

Baldhip Rose

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Rosa gymnocarpa

Baldhip rose is a low rhizomatous shrub with fragrant, rosy flowers at the tips of its branches. The fruits are small, brightly-colored orange to scarlet, pear-shaped “hips” that have lost their leaf-like sepals, making them diagnostically bald. Overall, it is highly attractive, versatile in the landscape, and an excellent habitat plant.

  • Plant type/canopy layer: medium-sized deciduous shrub
  • Size at maturity:  3-5' tall, 2-8' wide
  • Light requirements: full shade, part sun/part shade
  • Moisture requirements: dry to moist soil
  • Bloom time: April - Aug
  • Growth rate/ease: medium growth rate, easy to grow
  • Wildlife support: leaves are a larval food source for native butterflies and moths; flowers attract and provide nectar for hummingbirds, adult butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators; the hips persist throughout the winter and are eaten by small mammals, birds, and insects; overall plant attracts and supports beneficial and pest eating insects, forming thickets over time that provide critical shelter and refuge for birds and mammals and are browsed by deer
  • Native habitat/range: common in dry to moist open forests from southern British Columbia to the southern California coast in the west, to northern Idaho and western Montana in the east. Portland Plant List - yes.
  • Special features & uses: wildlife favorite; supports hummingbirds; landscape uses include pollinator gardens, woodland gardens, erosion control and hedgerows; a medicinal tea can be made from the young leaves, decoction of the bark used as an eyewash, and chewed leaves on bee stings; the hips can be used as beads by children and other wild artisans

Gardening with Baldhip Rose: Baldhip rose is sometimes known as dwarf rose because of its small stature. Yes, standing 3-5ft tall makes it one of the smaller native shrubs! It can grow in a range of sun and moisture conditions, but prefers part-sun and drier soils, making it a charming woodland plant and an excellent choice for your conifer understory. It will spread by rhizomes, forming habitat-friendly thickets over time and acting as an effective privacy barrier or the low layer of a native hedgerow. 

Photo Credit 1: "File:Rosa gymnocarpa Parksville 01.JPG" by Mcitsci is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo Credit 2: Eileen Stark