Audubon® Prairie Rose
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Normally, if someone’s in need of a climbing Rose, they’ll get a hybrid, but this native form will do the job just fine, too. Prairie Rose is a lovely, vigorous Rose that sends out long (12 to 15 feet) canes that can be trained to a fence, arbor, or large trellis. In midsummer, it puts on a captivating show of deep pink flowers that fade to near-white. At peak bloom, the multicolor effect is quite charming. Prairie Rose can also be grown without a support as a wide-spreading filler in informal gardens. Supports native birds and bees.
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: 5-8
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Michigan calls this the Michigan Rose, and Illinois calls it the Illinois Rose, though many states could lay claim to the Prairie Rose. It has an extensive natural range that stretches from Wisconsin to New York in the North and from Texas to Alabama in the South. This is a highly beneficial plant for wildlife, with pollen for bees and a buffet of caterpillars and other insects for birds. Warblers, chickadees, wrens, indigo buntings, and vireos are some of the many songbirds that feed on the insects found on Prairie Rose foliage. Mockingbirds devour the bronzy-red fruits that form in fall.
Fall color, too! After the summer color parade is over, Prairie Rose puts on another show. When the weather gets frosty, the green leaves turn a deep burgundy-red. Some years, you may see a medley of purple, red, orange, and yellow foliage.
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. If grown on a fence or arbor, the long canes will need to be tied to it. Otherwise, it will sprawl along the ground, rooting in where the tips touch the soil. Prune in early spring.
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