PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana)

Roses are native plants nearly everywhere in the world from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. We have three native roses west of the Cascades and Nootka Rose is the most popular. This might be because its flowers are larger and intensely scented – like, you can smell them from ten feet away at their peak. They’re versatile in the landscape too – full sun to light shade under trees.

They grow into a thicket of themselves about 2-3 feet tall and bloom with bright pink highly fragrant flowers in early summer. Blooms keep appearing for 4-5 weeks and they make a great cut flower when you cut a cluster of them – some in bud and some open. Starting in August or September the rose hips start appearing. These are bright red 3/4 inch jewels that look great on the plant & provide food for birds & small critters, and are wonderful to harvest, dry, and use in tea. The hips (rose fruit) have a tart, citrusy, fruity flavor and are crazy high in vitamin C – good for winter immune-boosting.

Nootka roses are prickly like any rose and are best appreciated as a colony in a wild corner of your yard or as an ‘under-the-window’ barrier plant against the house. It is an intense sensory experience for the eye, nose, tongue, and touch – for humans and wildlife.