The Mystery Rose, Revealed!

IMG_1680In my travels this weekend  I saw the mystery rose. It was everywhere I looked, including all over Winter Island and even up at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.

IMG_1679A little research identified it as the multiflora rose which is considered an invasive species. According to the National Park Service it was originally introduced into the eastern Us in 1866 as root stalk for ornamental roses, then it was used for erosion control and to contain livestock. The plant eventually became a problem because it reseeds and spreads aggressively, taking over space where it’s not wanted. The funny thing is that I see it appearing as a very welcome member of borders and gardens everywhere I look this week.  I’ve been watching it establish itself in that border of ours for the past couple of years and I was kind of taken with it.   I was even thinking about joining the people who trellised it before I started my research. My learning curve is endless, what can I say?


So the question is, is this a weed to me? I kind of think so. I need to work on that side of the yard (but you know how snakey it is, and how much I hate those things). Maybe this will be the last straw that inspires me to get in there to clean it up and reconfigure everything. I think I’m going to have to before “my pretty little rose” takes over and invades the whole garden.

What do you think? What would you do?




  1. You mentioned snakes so the first thing I’d do is get out my Wellies to make sure one couldn’t actually touch me. I hate snakes and avoid them at all costs. I’d probably remove it and in my case have a large wooded border where I could plunk it and let it run wild. Look forward to hearing what you decide to do.


    1. Yes, Wellies are key! I got some for Mother’s Day that are great for projects like this.


  2. Jane Scorer says:

    Far too pretty to be classed as a weed !
    I would have to know the area was snake-free before I would dare step out of doors ! Once I knew that no snake would EVER be there, I guess I wouls keep it, but contain it. Would mean real vigilance in pulling out self-sets though, which would be time consuming !


    1. If I waited for the area to be snake free I’d never go outside Jane! I have a serious phobia too so I’m always working to overcome it. I looked at your beautiful garden and now I’m envious that you have such beautiful space and no snakes! Your so lucky!


  3. nutsfortreasure says:

    I have cut mine to the ground and she grows back and is EVERY WHERE HERE lol I do love how the yard smells pretty but hate seeing it take down TREES I deal with it in the dead of WINTER lol


    1. Yes, I’ve seen evidence of that problem for the trees in the past few days. I just missed it before. I think I”m going to try to dig it out.


      1. nutsfortreasure says:

        lol best of luck I have the prettiest smelling yard here and hurt too bad to tackle that too so I will see come winter 🙂 no ticks then 🙂


  4. Barbara Parr says:

    It is a weed in my book. We had a few at the old farm houss at the end
    of Gordon Rd. We let it grow for awhile but found it would get half
    the size of the house in no time and was full of pickers. They will grow
    wild if allowed.
    Mom Parr


  5. It has become a huge problem in SC because it harbors pests that are responsible for the spread of Rose Rosette Disease. I would find another rose friend for the space.


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