Multiflora Rose

Rosa multiflora


Photo by Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, North Carolina State

Multiflora rose is a vigorous, thorny shrub with clumps of long, arching stems 5 to 10 feet in height. The leaves are divided into five to 11 sharply toothed leaflets, each 1½ to 2 inches long. The base of each leaf stalk bears a pair of fringed bracts. Beginning in May or June, clusters of showy, fragrant white to pink flowers appear, each about an inch across. Small bright red fruits, or rose hips, are ¼ inch in diameter, develop during the summer, becoming leathery, and remain on the plant until spring. Multiflora rose spreads primarily by seeds.

Management Guidelines:
Type and Class of Livestock: Sheep and goats; not recommended for cattle.

Grazing Objective: Graze multiflora rose season long to achieve and maintain 95% stem defoliation.

Growth Stage for Treatment: Sheep and goats readily consume multiflora rose. Effective control requires intensive grazing early in the grazing season, followed by less intensive grazing later in the summer as pasture growth slows.

Potential Effectiveness: Livestock are highly recommended for long-term, sustainable management of multiflora rose. Goats will defoliate multiflora rose up to 5 feet tall. Goats are most effective; they are able to defoliate three times the amount as sheep in a single season. Even though goats or sheep can reduce multiflora rose in one season, it will take several seasons of grazing treatment to kill the plant. Goats or sheep will consume multiflora rose and other brush and open the area for grazing by cattle.

Bryan, W.H. 1994. Mechanical control of multiflora rose. West Virginia University Extension Service. Available at: Accessed 12 July 2006.

Darlington, J. and B.M. Loyd. 1994. Control of autumn olive, multiflora rose, and tartarian honeysuckle. West Virginia University Extension Service and USDA -NRCS. Available at: Accessed 12 July 2006.

Green, J.T. Potential for producing meat goats in North Carolina. Meat goat production handbook. Available at: Accessed 12 July 2006.

Luginbuhl,J-M. J.T. Green, M.H. Poore and J.P. Mueller. 1998. Use of goats as biological agents for the control of unwanted vegetation. Available at: Accessed 12 July 2006

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