Rosa omeiensis f. pteracantha 'Red Menace'


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Rosa sericea subsp. omeiensis f. pteracantha was the name when we collected this stunning form of the Winged Rose in 1997 in Yunnan.  Perhaps the best form of this variable species  (horticulturally, we like the useful distinctions of physiology such as f. pteracantha denoting the larger prickles, botany-speak for rose thorns) which has very large blood-red prickles - sometimes literally blood red if admirers are too closely ardent. These glow like stained glass when backlit and are much larger than the form commonly circulated in cultivation. Other differences are the single white flowers are larger and the narrowly flask-shaped orange hips are shaped different as well.  This is very robust and a 15 year old plant is 10'x 15'+ in our hedgerow bed.  The thorns turn shades of gray-brown with age and when the wind blows, they chatter against each other like the teeth of unseen creatures at night when you are lost somewhere you shouldn't be.  We liked it so much we gave it the name 'Red Menace'.  These are seedlings so technically we can't call it Red Menace but they come true and they don't root or graft well so Red Menace it is!  If the size is intimidating, many gardeners coppice the species, cutting large plants back hard in early spring to force a thicket of vigorous new growth sporting flamboyant prickles.


Plant Type

  • Shrub

Mature Size


Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Full Sun

Water Needs

  • Moderate

Bloom Time

  • Spring
  • Summer