Rosa palustris is a very prickly shrub to 2 m tall; colonial from long rhizomes; thorns 0.3-0.6 cm, only at nodes.
Leaves alternate, pinnate with 7 leaflets, rachis softly hairy, leaf teeth 0.5 mm. Stipules narrow, fused the sides of the leaf stalk.
Flowers pink, petals 2-3 cm long, flower base (hypanthium) and calyx covered with stalked glands, appearing coarsely reddish hairy, flowers few, at ends of branches; blooms June.
Fruit fleshy, red, about 1 cm, eaten by birds that disperse seeds. Also eaten by mammals including bears, raccoons, coyotes, foxes (Wilson 1993).
Wetland status: OBL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent
Habitat: Open swamps. Normally found in freshwater tidal and nontidal marshes, pond edges. Tolerant of flooding or saturated soil up to 75% of growing season. Intolerant of salt, shade (Hightshoe 1988).
Notes: Twigs, buds and foliage eaten by deer, rabbits. Seeds (achenes) eaten by birds and small mammals (Martin et al 1951).