Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Native to eastern Asia, it was introduced into the US in the late 1800s for cultivation as an ornamental garden shrub, a living fence, soil erosion protection, and wildlife attractor. As recently as the 1930s, the US Soil Conservation Service and some state conservation departments promoted it for these uses. Thus, continued planting along with bird dispersal from species that feed on the fruits has made it common across North America. Due to its invasiveness and ecological damage, the sale or distribution is prohibited in Massachusetts as well as several other states.


Tolerant to environments with various soil, pH, light, and moisture levels, multiflora rose aggressively invades many different habitats. Its bunches of white flowers on tightly packed branches scramble over other plants, crowding out native species by forming dense thickets around them. This exclusion of native shrubs and herbs is often detrimental to native birds who rely on native plants for nesting and food resources. Targeted removal, using a combination of mechanical and chemical techniques, can be extremely effective. While easier to remove by uprooting in its early stages, repeated herbicide application to freshly cut stems can subdue growth.