Habit: large slightly arching shrub that can be thicket forming with stems that range from quite prickly to almost thornless. Young stems appear pinkish green but blacken with age. Light green leaves are pinnately compound with 5-7 slightly hairy sharply toothed leaflets. Leaves are glandular releasing a spicy fragrance on warmer days. The large 4 in (10cm) wide flowers are in clusters of 1-4, with pink to purple colored petals. The spherical fruit of nootka rose is a dark red to purple rose hip, with persistent sepals. Blooms from late spring to mid summer.
Ecology: found in many of the Western states in moist meadows, as well as near the coast, forming thickets in coastal prairies and growing at low to mid elevations under 2300 ft (700m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, in well drained moist to semi dry soil, tolerates coastal conditions or sites prone to occasional flooding.
Good choice for wildlife, larger mammals browse the foliage, and birds enjoy eating the hips that persist into winter. Rosa nutkana can aid in controlling erosion because of its vegetative growth and ability to form thickets.