Dog rose

Rosa canina

Height: strong arching stems up to 3 m.

Stems: broad based, strongly hooked thorns grow on the stems.

Leaves: made up of 2-3 pairs of toothed leaflets.

Flowers: pink or white, 1-4 flowers growing together, 4-5 cm across, the styles are separate.

Fruit: oval red rose hips. The sepals fall before the fruit ripens.

Distribution: hedgerows and woodland.

Not to be confused with

Not to be confused with - Field rose

Field rose

In field rose (Rosa arvensis) the thorns have a narrower base and are curved rather than hooked. The flowers are cup shaped rather than flat and always white. The styles form a column instead of being separate. The rose hips are more rounded than dog rose. (Wolstenholme images/Alamy)

Not to be confused with - Burnet rose

Burnet rose

Burnet rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia) has many long straight narrow thorns and bristles. The flowers are cream and solitary. The sepals are not lobed and stay on the black-purple rose hips when they are ripe. (Florapix/Alamy)


Not to be confused with - Sweet briar

Sweet briar

In sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa) the leaflets are covered with brownish sticky scented hairs. Lobed sticky sepals stay on the red rose hips when ripe. (Bob Gibbons/Alamy)


Not to be confused with - Japanese rose

Japanese rose


Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa) leaflets are wrinkled, hairy and shiny. The red rose hips are pumpkin shaped. (V Dorosz/Alamy)