Species At Risk

Climbing Prairie Rose

(Rosa setigera)
Provincial Status: Special Concern
Climbing Prairie Rose
Climbing Prairie Rose occurrences map


Climbing Prairie Rose is a perennial vine-like shrub in the rose family. Its arching or climbing branches are often several metres long. Arching branches that touch the ground may root at the tips where new plants then develop.

This shrub has alternate compound leaves. The leaflets are opposite and number three to five per leaf. The large flowers have five petals, each two to three centimetres long. The petals are pink and many yellow stamens occur at the flower center. Flowers bloom from late June through July. The fruit (hips) are orange to red in colour.

Action we are taking:


The Climbing Prairie Rose is typically found in open habitats with moist heavy clay to clay-loam soils such as old fields, abandoned agricultural land, as well as prairie remnants and shrub thickets. This rose depends on areas being kept open by periodic fire or other disturbances.


Since Climbing Prairie Rose colonizes clearings and edge habitats, it will always have a patchy and changing distribution. It is possible that with the increased fragmentation of forests and resulting increases in edge habitats, the species has benefited in some areas. However, only 68 of over a hundred recorded occurrences in Ontario are believed to still exist, and many of these are not considered viable.

Threats include land development, intensive agricultural practices, inappropriate management of conservation areas and roadsides, unrestricted recreational use of all-terrain vehicles, and invasive exotic shrubs (i.e. Autumn Olive).


Climbing Prairie Rose is listed as species of Special Concern under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. Although this species does not receive protection under this act because of its Special Concern status, it does receive protection under the federal Species at Risk Act. Most populations are on private land, but there are important sites in a nature reserve and provincial park where they receive additional protection.

For more information on legislation that helps protect Ontario's species at risk visit ontario.ca/speciesatrisk.

What You Can Do to Help the Climbing Prairie Rose

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Climbing Prairie Rose. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species at risk recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats. For more information, visit: ontario.ca/speciesatrisk.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Invasive species seriously threaten many of Ontario’s species at risk. To learn what you can do to help reduce the threat of invasive species, visit: ontario.ca/invasivespecies ; www.invadingspecies.com ; www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca ; and, www.invasivespecies.gc.ca .
  • Climbing Prairie Roses are pollinated by flying insects. Pollinators are in steep decline across the globe and they play a key role in the survival of many of Ontario’s rare plants. For information on how you can help scientists monitor pollinator populations in Ontario visit: www.seeds.ca/proj/poll.
  • The Carolinian forests of southern Ontario support an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife, including many species at risk. Carolinian Canada is working to help recover species at risk and their habitats. For more information, visit: www.carolinian.org/SpeciesHabitats.htm.

Did you know?

Climbing Prairie Rose is dioecious (having male and female reproductive structures on separate plants), which is unusual for rose species.

Did you know?

Climbing Prairie Rose is a component of the open habitats of the Carolinian Zone, Ontario’s most threatened ecological region with over 125 species that are considered vulnerable, threatened or endangered.

Did you know?

Climbing Prairie Rose is the only native climbing rose in Canada.

The Endangered Species Act

Contact your local ministry office

Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.