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Rosa nutkana
Rosa nutkana

Rosa nutkana (Nootka Rose)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, shrublands, streamsides. Summer.
Top photograph and immediately below: Lizard Head Pass, July 15, 2020. Immediately above and second photograph below: Rough Canyon Trail, July 1, 2020.

Rosa nutkana is found from about 8,400 feet to 10,400 feet elevation in the Four Corners area. Rosa woodsii is found at the higher elevations, but it is less common there than it is in the foothills and lower montane. It is also found down to 5,300 feet. Several morphological characteristics also help to separate Rosa nutkana from Rosa woodsii:

R. nutkana flowers are single (see the photograph immediately below), they are about two inches across, and hips are about 2/3" in diameter.
R. woodsii flowers are in clusters (typically in threes), are a bit over an inch across, and hips are about 1/3" in diameter.

Rosa nutkana

Rosa nutkana

Rosa nutkana sepals are longer than those of R. woodsii, constricted in the middle and then expanded toward the tip whereas sepals of R. woodsii are typically short and narrow.

 

 

Rosa woodsii
Rosa woodsii

Rosa woodsii

Rosa woodsii

Rosa woodsii

 

 

 

 

Rosa woodsii (Woods' Rose)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, shrublands, streamsides. Spring, summer.
Above: Lower Stoner Mesa Trail, June 29, 2015.
Left: Near Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, June, 2010 and Vallecito Creek Trail, June 23, 2007.

Rosa woodsii has a beautiful, delicate, fragrant, large, and showy flower.  It can be almost startling to come upon a lone rose bush, covered in pink flowers, ten feet off the trail in the green under-story of a white-trunked Aspen forest.  Rosa woodsii also forms deep, spreading thickets in open areas, especially along drainages.

Several of the most common Wild Rose species hybridize and are thus difficult to precisely identify. 

The 2-4 inch flowers range from pale pink to deep, vibrant pink.  They last just a day.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753.   "Rosa" is the classical Latin name, and means "red".  John Lindley named this plant in 1820 from cultivated specimens thought to have been collected along the Missouri River.  The species name, "woodsii", does not refer to "growing in the woods" but to Joseph Woods, architect, botanist, and rose scholar. (More biographical information about Woods.)

Rosa woodsii
Rosa woodsii (Woods' Rose)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, shrublands, streamsides. Spring, summer.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, August 28, 2005.

Lovely flowers are replaced by dark red fruits ("rose hips") that range from mealy to sweet depending on the amount of rain and sun the plant receives and the time they are picked. The fruits are usually best after several frosts.

Rosa woodsii
Rosa woodsii (Woods' Rose)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, shrublands, streamsides. Spring, summer.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, November 1, 2005.

Rose thickets are a blurring blend of reds, maroons, yellows, and greens in the fall.

Rosa woodsii
Rosa woodsii (Woods' Rose)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Foothills, montane, subalpine. Woodlands, shrublands, streamsides. Spring, summer.
Mesa Verde National Park, September 26, 2010.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Rosa nutkana

Range map for Rosa nutkana

Range map for Rosa woodsii