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Audubon® Smooth Wild Rose
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A friend to humans and to birds! Smooth Rose is a native spreading Rose with sweet pink flowers that have a light and lovely Rose scent. This amiable plant gets its name from its mostly thornless stems—what prickles it does have are concentrated at the base of the canes. Smooth Rose benefits birds by virtue of the caterpillars it hosts. Over 100 species of moth and butterfly larvae feed on wild Roses like this one, and these insects are important nourishment for birds. Did you know, for example, that a pair of Black-Capped Chickadees requires between 6,000 and 9,000 caterpillars to raise one clutch of chicks?
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, waxwings, wood warblers, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, chickadees & titmice, orioles, cardinals & grosbeaks, crows & jays, sparrows, nuthatches, vireos, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and wrens.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Smooth Rose is a cool climate–loving, northern species that’s most prevalent in eastern Canada, the upper Midwest, and New England. In the open, sunny spaces it inhabits, it makes a low, colonizing thicket of smooth stems and early summer–blooming flowers. The dense growth provides good cover and nesting habit for birds. Birds also enjoy the red hips that follow the flowers in late summer. Robins and other thrushes, catbirds, cedar waxwings, eastern bluebirds, and cardinals are some of the many birds that may use Smooth Rose as a pit stop for fruit.
Some of the caterpillars that feed on Smooth Rose—if they don’t become a snack for birds—turn into some of our loveliest native moths. The pale beauty, wavy-lined emerald, imperial, polyphemus, io, and cecropia moths all feed on the foliage of wild Roses.
How to Grow
Unlike many fancy Hybrid Tea Roses, the native American Smooth Rose is not fussy about its growing conditions and is not difficult to care for. Diseases are few, and any caterpillars that appear will be gobbled up by birds. Do not spray it with chemicals! Smooth Rose likes full sun and average soils—anywhere between moist and a bit dry is fine. Irrigate during extended dry spells. Be aware that this is a suckering, spreading Rose. You can control its spread with a sharp spade, but it’s much easier to just plant it where its wandering ways are not a problem.
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