home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Rosa (roses)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Rosales > Family: Rosaceae

Rosa (roses)

A rose in an East London garden, Eastern Cape, South Africa. [photo H.G. Robertson, Iziko ]

Rosa (roses)

A variety of roses growing in Vienna Botanical Gardens, Austria. [photo H.G. Robertson, Iziko ]

There are about 100 to 150 species of rose and a huge number of hybrids and cultivars. Native mainly to Asia but also Europe, North America and North Africa. One species and one hybrid have become naturalised in southern Africa and an additional 23 species and at least four hybrids are cultivated in the region.

Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Rosa rubiginosa (Sweet briar, Eglantine rose)

[= Rosa eglanteria]

Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. Naturalised in the Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape. See Wikipedia page on this species. A declared Category 1 invader plant in South Africa.


Rosa x odorata (Tea rose)

Naturalised in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.


Other species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002) and includes only recorded species and hybrids in southern Africa. Cultivars are not listed unless there is an accompanying photograph.

Rosa abyssinica

Native to tropical East Africa.


Rosa acicularis (Arctic rose, Prickly rose)

Native to the northern regions of Europe, North America and Asia (Holarctic distribution). See Wikipedia.


Rosa agrestis

Native to Europe. See Encyclopedia of Life.


Rosa banksiae (Lady Banks' rose)

Native to China. See Wikipedia.


Rosa bracteata (Macartney rose, Chicksaw rose)

Native to China and Taiwan. See Global Invasive species database.


Rosa caesia

Native to Europe. Similar to Rosa canina (Dog rose).


Rosa canina (Dog rose)

[= Rosa dumalis]

Native to Europe and southwestern Asia. See Wikipedia


Rosa chinensis (China rose, Fairy rose)

Native to central China. See Wikipedia.


Rosa foetida (Austrian brier, Austrian yellow rose)

Native to the foothills of the Caucasus mountains. It is a yellow-coloured rose and is the source of yellow in hybrid varieties of roses that are yellow. See Wikipedia


Rosa gallica (Gallic rose, French rose, Rose of Provence)

Native from Europe to Iraq. See Wikipedia


Rosa glauca (Redleaf rose)

Native to central and southern Europe. See Wikipedia


Rosa hugonis (Father Hugo shrub rose)

Native to China.


Rosa laevigata (Cherokee rose, Camellia rose, Mardan rose)

Native from China to Cambodia. See Wikipedia


Rosa moyesii

Native to western China. See Wikipedia


Rosa multiflora (Multiflora rose, Baby rose, Rambler rose)

Native to China, Japan and Korea. See Wikipedia


Rosa omeiensis

Native to central and southwestern China. See Wikipedia


Rosa rugosa (Japanese rose, Rugosa rose)

Native from Siberia to Japan. See Wikipedia


Rosa serafinii (Mediterranean rose)

Native from Corsica to Bulgaria.


Rosa setigera (Prairie rose)

Native to eastern and central USA. See Missouri Botanical Garden


Rosa sinowilsonii

Native to southwestern China.


Rosa spinosissima (Burnet rose, Scots rose)

Native to Eurasia.


Rosa sweginzowii

Native to China.


Rosa wichuraiana

See Encyclopedia of Life


Rosa x borboniana (Bourbon rose)


Rosa x centifolia (Cabbage rose, Holland rose, Provence rose)

Hybrid bred from Rosa gallica, Rosa moschata, Rosa canina and Rosa damascena. See Wikipedia


Rosa x damascena (Damask rose)

Hybrid of Rosa gallica and Rosa moschata. See Wikipedia


Rosa x harisonii




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.