Rosa canina or Dog Rose is a variable scrambling rose species native to Europe, northwest Africa, and western Asia. It is a deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1-5 m. They are used to catch onto surrounding shrubs.
The long arching stems are green to purple and have strong, curved prickles, on a base 15 mm long. The alternate leaves have 5-7 leaflets, 15-40 mm long, which have single or double-toothed saw-edges, and are usually hairless on both surfaces. Large, leafy stipules, which runs up the leaf stalks, is about 2 cm long. Dog roses can be either self-supporting or climbers; the tallest specimens invariably use other plants for support. They make wonderful displays in the hedgerows during June and July.
The white or pink, 5-petalled flowers are 4-6 cm across and in clusters of 1-5. The styles in the centre of the flower are joined together into a persistent, slender column and mature into an oval 1.5-2 cm red-orange fruit, or hip. They open in June and July and develop into red hips ripe in autumn. They are mildly fragrant.
Hardiness zones: 4-9 (-32øC/-25øF, -5øC/25øF) in winter. It thrives on a wide range of soils, except very dry or waterlogged ones. Once established, provide with ample water and sunlight; very good drainage is a must, though heavier soils also tolerated.