Rosa arizonica

Rosa arizonica is native to our area and useful when informal garden areas are desired. It grows naturally near the stream beds in the hills where water is usually available.

It is a short bushy rose with small pink blossoms. Several rose cuttings placed in one site could produce a light mounded appearance. If flowers are snipped and growth cut back, a fuller appearance can be achieved. The flowers will also continue to bloom longer when given the attention as would be given a purchased plant.

If a large area requires a native landscaping, Rosa arizonica is a good choice. It is tolerant of poor soil conditions, heat, and arid conditions.

Small creatures and birds will use the bushes as a protected area and nesting place. It can form a casual fence or border and compliments other plantings. An edible plant, the rose petals can be used in salads. Rose hips are the flower-heads which remain on the stem and form fruit pods. The hips contain multiple vitamins and are used in brewing a medicinal tea.

Spring is the time for transplanting roses. Preparing a bed, feeding the stock, and mulching will get the plants off to a good start. Later, this rose can be somewhat ignored and still thrive here in the high desert.

Rosa arizonica has a gentle aspect, almost a miniature-like quality. It does have small thorns and a pair of gloves will protect from scratches when transplanting. This small plant can also be used on the patio as a containerize plant.

Barbara Kishbaugh
March, 1994