Rosa setigera

Illinois Rose

$3.00 - $300.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
1 oz.
1 lb.

Bare Root Plants
Out of Stock

Illinois Rose sets a series of stunning fuchsia flowers throughout June and July.  The bubblegum-colored petals frame a riot of sunny yellow stamens.  These vibrant blooms fade to nearly white as each blossom matures, creating a lovely pink-spectrum palette across a single plant.  This native Rose is rather singular in its ability to grow as vines.  If situated near a support – such as a trellis, fence, or tree - Illinois Rose will tenaciously climb and cling by its prickles to twine throughout that structure.  If planted in the open, the thorny stems will cascade, taking root where the tips touch the ground, to create a bushy bower.  Once fertilized, female flowers will give way in late summer to reveal vibrant red rosehips.  The foliage turns bronze, burgundy, or sometimes dark purple in the fall.

Rosa setigera prefers medium to medium-dry soils and will tolerate consistently moist turf better than hot, dry conditions.  This plant performs best in full sun but acclimates to partial shade; it will produce comparatively subdued flower hues and fewer blossoms, in general, when located in shaded sites.  Illinois Rose is a vigorous species that benefits from hard pruning every few years.  Don’t worry about a lack of flowers in the following season – Rosa setigera will produce blooms on new, fresh growth as readily as it blossoms on mature stems.     

Some sources state that this species is dioecious, growing as entirely separate male and female plants; other sites make no note of this distinction at all.  There are references that list Rosa setigera as being potentially both: some plants grow with functioning male AND female flowers on a single plant while other plants will produce strictly male OR female flowers on a single plant.  Illinois Rose is the only native rose to show these potentially dioecious tendencies.  Rosehips are created from fertiziled female flowers, so if that is the goal in selecting this species, plant several specimens to ensure good pollination. 
Also commonly known as Climbing Wild Rose, Climbing Prairie Rose, and Prairie Rose.

*This species (in seed) may be difficult and/or slow to germinate and grow to maturity.  Please note the germination code.

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
April/May October 2 years/8"

Rosa setigera - Illinois Rose

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

9 Questions asked on Rosa setigera

Does Illinois rose have thorns?
Yes, but not as many as the other species of native roses.
What should the spacing be with the seeds? I am hoping to put them all along a fence line and am not sure how many ounces or pound to order. What would you recommend for a fence line around 700 feet long? The fence is 12 feet high so they would have room to go vertical. Thanks! Thanks!
I would plan on finished plants being about 4 feet apart. Keep in mind, these seeds exhibit double dormancy (Germination Code F) and may be difficult to germinate and slow to reach maturity.

Germination Code F: Seeds need a cold, moist period followed by a warm, moist period followed by a 2nd cold, moist period Seeds germinate after alternating, cold moist, warm moist, cold moist stratification treatments. Start by following instructions for code C, then store in warm (70 to 80 degrees F) place followed by a 2nd cold period. Or sow outdoors and allow 2 year or longer to germinate.
Does this native rose get rosehips like the others?
Hi Ginny. It should produce rosehips like all the other native roses, although I wish I had a specimen to go outside and check this time of year. We did have one growing here along a fence line but it died after a harsh winter. We are in zone 4, a little north of its range.
Got 5 of the Rosa setigera (Illinois rose) back in Fall 2019 and all were doing well (if you count 3 got weeded out by my husband). This spring I noticed the thorns have changed in appearance - many and fierce and the summer color is very red. Is this natural for R. setigera or do I have a case of rose rosette coming on? Thorns do not bother me - actually this is part of the beginning of barrier fence - so thorns are useful but need to know if this is normal.
Hi Cindy! That is a very interesting observation! It is normal for more thorns to appear as they establish and age. The bare roots you got from us were likely just a year or 2 old, so now in their 3rd or 4th year they are developing thorns as they should.

As for the color, that is normal under different weather patterns - perhaps this hot, dry spring has something to do with it.

Native roses usually have better resistance to diseases than cultivated roses.

Do these roses have a fragrance?
Hi Amanda, Absolutely! If you've never smelled wild native roses, I HIGHLY recommend. The petals are delicious too, but for the sake of the plant and its pollinators, please sample sparingly. :)
I don’t have any structural element but I like the color variation of this rose. What could I expect the form to look like without a fence or support?
Hi Patricia. With no structure to climb, Illinois Rose vines will bend outwards and away from the base to create an airy, bramble-style bush which will become more dense as it matures. The overall shape will be determined by the unique site conditions. Once established, this species tolerates pruning, which will also affect the form.
I have a livestock fence that i would like to cover. I'm in USDA zone 4 (Pierce County Wisconsin). The range map shows all of Wisconsin, but it is listed as USDA hardy in zones 5-9. Would this be a perennial in my area? If I drop the seeds now (December/January) along the fence line will they germinate in the spring? The following spring? not recommended?
Hi Sonya. The range maps are not quite intuitive; because Illinois Rose has been seen growing within the state, the entire state is green. The lighter greens are more informative - it looks like this species has been introduced to several counties, including as far north as the Green Bay area. That being said, Zone 4 is dicey for Illinois Rose; we had it growing here in SE Minnesota for several years and it thrived. One particularly harsh winter killed the whole bramble, though. It would be a bit of a risk in Pierce County. If you want to give Illinois Rose a try, the seed sown outside in Jan 2023 should germinate in the spring of 2024, with a few more years to reach maturity and flower. We do offer Illinois Rose as a 2 year old bare root plant if you would like more instant results.
Once the seeds germinate, how quickly will they grow in ideal conditions? I live in the native range and would like them to grow on my fence to deter fence hopping while also feeding pollinators. I also get full sun and consistent damp soil where it will be planted. Also will it do well competing with other plants once established? I have invasive clematis I've been fighting and I'm hoping to get natives in to help keep them away.
Hi Paige. Starting from seed is a lengthy process; Illinois Rose has a double dormancy which takes a full winter, spring, and second winter experience in order to germinate. This species will then spend its first few years pumping energy into the roots. Usually by year 3 there's a few feet of top growth. But if that invasive Clematis is still a competitive presence in the site, its pressure could inhibit or even prevent those native rose seeds from establishing.
How deep do I plant these seeds? I ordered Illinois Rose, Swamp Rose, Pasture Rose, and Early Wild Rose. I have looked on the packet, on the planting section of this page, and on the germination codes, and do not see how deep to plant the seeds.
Hi Kaylie. Each of the Rose species seeds should be planted no deeper than the widest part of the seed.


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium, Medium-Dry
up to 12 feet
Bloom Time
June, July
Bloom Color
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Recommended for home landscaping but potentially aggressive; could overwhelm small landscapes
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code