A close-up of a flower of pearhip rose as seen from atop Burch Mt., several miles north of Wenatchee, WA.........June 6, 2009.
Pearhip rose is a woody shrub with erect stems from 1-2 meters high. The stems bear strong, straight or slightly curved prickles below the stipules or bases of the petioles. The leaves are alternate on the stems and have 5-9 pinnately compound leaflets. The leaflets are ovate, obovate, or elliptic with toothed margins. Individual teeth may be greater than 1 mm in length and are only gland tipped in variety woodsii. The leaflets are up to 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide.
The inflorescence is a small cluster or cyme of 3-5 flowers at the tips of the stems. The pinkish to rose-colored flowers are small and about 2.5-5 cm across with 5 petals. The petals are 1.5-2.5 cm long. The rose hips are globose, ellipsoid, or pear-shaped, and 6-12 mm long and wide. The hips are red and have sepals which persist at the tip of the fruit.
It may be identified from Rosa nutkana due to the smaller, clustered flowers.
Pearhip rose is found in moist open ground and open woods in the east Columbia River Gorge, and elsewhere in its range, prefers warm, dry sites, often mixed with Nootka rose..
Pearhip rose is found east of the Cascade summits in Washington and Oregon and south to southern California. It is found east to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri and Texas.