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For Your Garden - July 2015

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

Carolina rose (Rosa carolina)

Carolina rose, also known as pasture rose, grows in prairies, upland woods and fields throughout Illinois. It may attain a height of one to three feet, although it typically is a low-growing plant. Flowers are produced from May through July. Each flower contains five pink petals and five green sepals. The leaves are compound and composed of three to seven leaflets. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Thin, straight thorns in pairs are present at the leaf base. Fruits are red, spherical "hips" that can provide food for wildlife in the fall and winter.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae

Illinois Status: common, native