Water Tolerance of Rosa multiflora

Most of us around here are probably at least a little familiar with our native Rosa palustris (Swamp Rose) and its tolerance for standing water and thriving in conditions so wet most other roses would drown and rot.

Unfortunately, we here in southern Michigan also have many feral plants of the Asian Rosa multiflora which is known for its invasiveness and propensity to succumb to rose rosette disease (RRD).

I am trying a couple roses grafted onto the rootstock of Rosa multiflora because I see first hand its vigour and hardiness (completely CANE hardy most of the time) on uninfected feral specimens.

A more recent observation I've made regarding R. multiflora is that it seems quite tolerant of seasonal flooding if not areas that are consistently wet, period.

I make my theory based on a plant I've observed come into being over the last five years (less, most likely) along a ditch running alongside my road that runs water year round and is subject to flooding throughout the year. This plant is happy, healthy, and vigorous.

Yes, it's multiflora because it gets clusters of very small white flowers and it has teensy tiny hips that I couldn't get to focus.

Aside from bud union heights in cold climates and sensitivity to experiencing chlorosis, I would believe Rosa multiflora could be useful as a rootstock to those with damp, but probably not constantly sopping areas without necessarily needing a raised bed.

Do you think it could work?


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