Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Rosa californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RosaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: ROSE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree, glandular or not. Leaf: simple to palmately or pinnately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused (0), persistent to deciduous. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, cluster, or flowers 1; bractlets on pedicel ("pedicel bractlets") generally 0--3(many), subtended by bract or generally not. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, subtending bractlets ("hypanthium bractlets") 0--5, alternate sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0,1)5--many, anther pollen sacs generally 2; pistils (0)1--many, simple or compound, ovary superior to inferior, styles 1--5. Fruit: 1--many per flower, achene (fleshy-coated or not), follicle, drupe, or pome with generally papery core, occasionally drupe-like with 1--5 stones. Seed: generally 1--5 (per fruit, not per flower).
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 3000 species: worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for ornamental, fruit, especially Cotoneaster, Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Rosa, Rubus. Note: Number of teeth is per leaf or leaflet, not per side of leaf or leaflet, except in Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter & Barbara Ertter, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Daniel Potter, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Daniel Potter, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: RosaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub to vine, often thicket-forming, generally prickly. Leaf: generally odd-pinnately compound; stipules generally attached to petiole, generally gland-margined. Inflorescence: generally +- cyme or flowers 1; pedicel bractlets 0. Flower: hypanthium urn-shaped, bractlets 0; sepals often with long expanded tip; petals generally 5 (except cultivated), generally pink in California (white to red or yellow); stamens generally > 20; pistils generally many, ovaries superior, styles attached at tip, generally hairy. Fruit: bony achenes generally enclosed in fleshy, generally +- red hypanthium (hip).
Species In Genus: 100+ species: generally northern temperate. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name) Note: Species hybridize freely; other non-natives established locally. FNANM treatment by Lewis & Ertter uses both subspecies, varieties, the latter mostly reserved for localized variants within a subsp.; 2 vars. in Rosa woodsii subsp. gratissima treated here but not in TJM2 (2012).
eFlora Treatment Author: Barbara Ertter

Rosa californica Cham. & Schltdl.
Habit: Shrub or thicket-forming, 8--25 dm. Stem: prickles few to many, paired or not, 3--15 mm, thick-based and compressed, generally curved (straight). Leaf: axis +- shaggy-hairy (+- glabrous), hairs to 1 mm, glandless or glandular; leaflets 5--7(9), +- hairy, sometimes glandular; terminal leaflet generally 15--50 mm, +- ovate-elliptic, generally widest at or below middle, tip rounded to acute, margins single- or double-toothed, glandular or not. Inflorescence: (1)3--30(50)-flowered; pedicels generally +- 5--20 mm, generally +- hairy, glandless. Flower: hypanthium 3--5.5 mm wide at flower, glabrous to sparsely hairy, glandless, neck 2--4.5 mm wide; sepals glandular or not, entire, tip generally +- = body, entire; petals generally 15--25 mm, pink; pistils 20--40. Fruit: generally 8--15(20) mm wide, generally (ob)ovoid; sepals generally erect, persistent; achenes generally 3.5--4.5 mm. Chromosomes: n=14.
Ecology: Generally +- moist areas, especially streambanks; Elevation: < 1800 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP (exc CaRH, SNH, Teh); Distribution Outside California: southern Oregon, northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Feb--Nov Note: Variable; needs study.
Unabridged Note: The author has indicated that all range and most elevation extension vouchers now have been annotated as other species
eFlora Treatment Author: Barbara Ertter
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botanical illustration including Rosa californica


Citation for this treatment: Barbara Ertter 2017. Rosa californica, Revision 2, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2017.

Rosa californica
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Rosa californica
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© 2010 Vernon Smith
Rosa californica
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© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Rosa californica
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© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Rosa californica
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell
Rosa californica
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© 2014 Neal Kramer

More photos of Rosa californica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Rosa californica:
CA-FP (exc CaRH, SNH, Teh);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.