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Red-leaved rose

Leaves and fruit of red-leaved rose.

A large, vase-shaped species rose grown for its outstanding blue-green foliage and aching stems. It is one of the more cold hardy roses for northern climates.  The cherry-pink flowers contrast nicely with the foliage in late spring. It is not a repeat bloomer. The red rose hips are a favorite to many birds. This species of rose grows wild in the mountains of southern Europe. 

Botanical name:

Rosa glauca

All Common Names:

Red-leaved rose, red leaved rose, redleaf rose

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Mixed border,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet),
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 3,
  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Alkaline soil

Season of Interest:

  • Late spring,
  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • Pink

Shape or Form:

  • Arching,
  • Round

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:

Size & Form
A 5 to 8 feet high erect shrub with arching to spreading branches. Plants can become leggy with age.

Tree & Plant Care

Prefers full sun in well-drained soils, pH adaptable but avoid extremely wet conditions.
Plants require very little pruning.

Disease, pests, and problems

Blackspot, powdery mildew, root rots, cankers and Japanese beetles.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to the mountains of central and southern Europe.

Attracts birds or wildlife

Red rose hips turn brown and remain during the winter.
Rose hips attractive to birds and wildlife.

Bark color and texture 

The reddish-purple arching stems are almost thornless but older stems may have small prickle-type thorns.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Alternate, pinnately compound with 5 to 7 elliptical leaflets. The blue green foliage is infused with red and covered with a waxy bloom.
Fall color is reddish-burgundy.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Single-type, pink flowers are 1 to 2 inches wide and mildly fragrant.  The center of flower is tinged white with showy stamens.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruits mature to a dark reddish-purple rose hip.



Location of Rosa glauca (Red-leaved rose) at the Arboretum