rugosa alba (Rugosa Rose, Japanese Rose, or Ramanas Rose)
is a species of rose native to eastern Asia, in
northeastern China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Siberia,
where it grows on the coast, often on sand dunes. The
Japanese name is (hamanasu), meaning "shore pear".
This Rosa has perfect flowers, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2"
across, borne solitary or in clusters. Looking like
clusters of ripe cherry tomatoes, the white rose hips are
oval and glossy, lasting until late autumn. The hips are
large, 23 cm diameter, and often shorter than
their diameter, not elongated like most other rose hips;
in late summer and early autumn the plants often bear
fruit and flowers at the same time. The bloom will
continue sporadically until frost. The sweet summer
fragrance makes it especially nice near windows or
walkways, although it needs to be given space so that the
thorny stalks don't grow into passageways.
The leaves are 815 cm long, most often with 7
leaflets, each 34 cm long, with a distinctly
corrugated (rough, hence the species' name) surface. The
clean, beautifully deep green foliage of this rose
distinguishes it from most others. Fall color varies
widely among members of this species, ranging from yellow
to bronze or an excellent orange-red. It is a suckering
shrub which develops new plants from the roots and forms
dense thickets 11.50 m tall with stems densely
covered in numerous short, straight thorns 3-10 mm long.
The stems are incredibly spiny, densely covered in short,
gray, needle-like thorns about 1/4 to 1/2" long.
Hardiness zones: 3-8, (-37°C/-35°F, -10°C/15°F) in
winter. It's a carefree rose, picky only about drainage.
It will grow in salty conditions, shade, full sun, and
poor soil, so long as it's well-drained. Along the East
Coast it even grows right in the sandy beaches!