Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Shrub
Evergreen. Erect climbing, arching, or trailing shrubs to 10 feet (3 m) in height or length. Clump forming. Frequent recurved and straight thorns. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with toothed margins. Each leaflet is 1 - 3 in. long. Flowers occur in small clusters, and are white and 5-petaled, with many yellow anthers in the center. Hips (fruit) are round and fleshy, 0.25 - 0.4 in. in diameter, green or yellow but ripening to red.
Ecological Threat: Macartney rose forms dense thickets, displacing native grasses such as the endangered white bladderpod, and altering native wildlife habitat. Greatly decreases forage productivity of cattle pasture and adds to the economic burden of land managers.
Biology & Spread: Vegetative sprouting from the stem base and stem rooting results in onsite colonization. Spreads primarily via dispersal of seeds by both birds and cattle. Seeds readily germinate from cattle feces. Flowers April to June, and fruits July to December.
Individual plants of Macartney rose form dense clumps several yards in diameter and as high as 10 feet, later coalescing to form dense thickets.
History: Introduced from Asia. Traditionally planted as ornamentals, livestock containment, and wildlife habitat. Brought to southeast Texas in the past century for use as a natural hedge row. Spread to pastures and ranges by cattle and bird-dispersed seeds.
U.S. Habitat: Form small-to-large infestations often climbing up into trees. Colonize by prolific sprouting and stems that root, and spread by animal-dispersed seeds. Prefers clayey soil. Grows in disturbed areas including cattle rangeland, right-of-ways, fence lines, drainage ditches, and river bottoms. Can spread to the understories of open forests.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: China (Alfred Rehder, Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs: Hardy in North America, The MacMillan Co., New York (1967)); NatureServe Explorer
U.S. Present: AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA
Distribution: Currently located in the Southeastern U.S., north to North Carolina, and west to Texas. Occurs in the Lower Galveston Bay watershed, including natural areas such as the prairies of the Armand Bayou Nature Center.
List All Observations of Rosa bracteata reported by Citizen Scientists
Texas alternatives include Purple poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata), Scarlet mallow (Hibiscus laevis), and Rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) .
For range conditions, apply industrial herbicide such as 2,4,5-T + picloram directly to plant during the spring. Cattle that have been feeding on hips (fruits) should not be moved to uninfested pasture for risk of seed spread.USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 pp (USDA SRS).
The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Plants of the Galveston Bay Area (www.galvbayinvasives.org). Lisa Gonzalez and Jeff DallaRosa. Houston Advanced Research Center, 2006.
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