Beautiful and Aggressive

rose1 Here’s multiflora rose, a pushy relative of our native and cultivated roses. Its fragrance is the only thing sweet about it. No wall flower this — in fact if multiflora rose finds itself growing beside a wall, it will clamber over it and up into any adjacent vegetation. This particular plant has started up into a nearby Virginia pine, in which it may climb 20 or 30 feet.

rose 2According to the National Park Service, “multiflora rose was introduced to the eastern United States in 1866 as rootstock for ornamental roses. Beginning in the 1930s, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service promoted it for use in erosion control and as “living fences” to confine livestock. State conservation departments recommended multiflora rose as cover for wildlife. More recently, it has been planted in highway median strips to serve as crash barriers and reduce automobile headlight glare.”

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