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Rosa acicularis is a deciduous shrub growing 1–3 m tall. The leaves are pinnate, 7–14 cm long, with three to seven leaflets. The leaflets are ovate, with serrate (toothed) margins. The flowers are pink (rarely white), 3.5–5 cm diameter; the hips are red, pear-shaped to ovoid, 10–15 mm diameter. The ploidy of this rose species is variable. Botanical authorities have listed it as tetraploid and hexaploid in North America (subsp. sayi), and octoploid in Eurasia (subsp. acicularis). On the northern Great Plains and in northwest Canada, extending to Whitehorse, Yukon its populations are generally tetraploid.
This native rose species of the U.S. and Canadian northern Great Plains is the provincial flower of Alberta. It is not as common in the Parkland region of the Canadian Prairie provinces as Rosa woodsii (Woods' rose), but is the most abundant rose species growing in the boreal forests of northern Canada and Alaska.
Spotted on Jun 15, 2009
Submitted on Jun 10, 2013