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The California wild rose is a remarkably robust deciduous shrub producing many spiny stems, 3-6 ft. tall and spreading by underground stems as far as space and moisture permit. Medium green foliage is comprised of pinnately divided leaves with 5-7 coarsely toothed leaflets. Bright rose to pink colored flowers with 5 petals occur in spring; colorful red berry-like fruit mature in fall.

California wild rose is native to riparian and moist woodland habitats from Oregon to northern Baja California. It has proven to be a highly adaptable plant that is easily grown in native plant gardens and for restoration projects. It combines well with other native species on the Western Sycamore Palette and is useful as a barrier plant with an attractive display of flowers for seasonal color in the spring.

Water Needs

The California wild rose is highly adaptable to a range of moisture conditions. It grows best in areas where winter rains collect and saturate the soils and throughout summer with periodic deep watering. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several winter months marked by an asterisk (*) when rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; higher amounts of water will result in stronger springtime flowering performance and summer foliage character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 3

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 9"-16"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Winter deciduous, Drought deciduous
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Sprawling, Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Height: 3 ft. - 6 ft.
Width: 8 ft. - 10 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Foliage Color: Medium green
Flower Color: Pink
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Moist soil, Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Morning sun, Moderate shade
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Screening, Restoration, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Parks and open space, Grouped, Foundations, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Attracts bees


This is an aggressive plant that spreads outwards from the roots and is extremely thorny. It is a beautiful and very tough native plant with high habitat value, which can be low maintenance if placed somewhere where it can spread. However, if used in a small or medium sized yard, it can be a lot of work to keep from spreading. It is often best used in a moist spot in a restoration style landscape. It can be pruned as aggressively as desired in winter (S).



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