Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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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 ornament, 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).
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name) Note: Species hybridize freely; other non-natives established locally. FNANM treatment by Lewis & Ertter uses both subspecies and varieties, the latter mostly reserved for localized variants within a subspecies; 2 varieties in Rosa woodsii subsp. gratissima treated here but not in TJM2 (2012).
eFlora Treatment Author: Barbara Ertter
Reference: Ertter & Lewis 2008 Madroño 55:170--177
Unabridged Reference: Lewis & Ertter 2007 Novon 17:342--353
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
Jepson eFlora Author: Barbara Ertter
Reference: Ertter & Lewis 2008 Madroño 55:170--177
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Rosa californica

botanical illustration including Rosa californica

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Citation for this treatment: Barbara Ertter 2014, Rosa californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 2,, accessed on June 18, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 18, 2024.

Rosa californica
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©2022 Neal Kramer
Rosa californica
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©2022 California Academy of Sciences
Rosa californica
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©2019 Neal Kramer
Rosa californica
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©2022 Neal Kramer
Rosa californica
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©2013 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Rosa californica
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Rosa californica:
CA-FP (exc CaRH, SNH, Teh)
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).