Roses in Maryland

Written by Larissa Smith
Updated: August 23, 2023
© JHVEPhoto/
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Various native roses flourish in the distinct habitats of Maryland, a state recognized for its varied landscapes. These plants, which range from the fragrant Virginia rose to the vivid pink swamp rose, enhance the state’s gardens in terms of aesthetics and the environment. In addition, Maryland gardeners can select from various garden rose types like grandiflora, hybrid tea, climbing, and shrub roses, each with distinctive growth traits, colors, and aromas.

With so many rose varieties to choose from, Maryland offers the best of the best in native roses to create a flashy display of scented and colorful flowers. In addition, these low-maintenance plants will improve the aesthetic of your outdoor environment, adding curb appeal to your home.

Let’s delve into some of the wonderous native roses in Maryland!

Roses Native to Maryland

Discover the captivating appeal and versatility of five types of roses that thrive in Maryland’s diverse landscapes. These native species are timeless plants that add color, fragrance, and ecological benefits to gardens across the state.

1. Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris)

The swamp rose, or Rosa palustris, is a classic deciduous shrub native to the eastern areas of the United States. You can find this plant in wetlands, such as bogs, swamps, and the edges of ponds and streams. This hardy plant can be easily identified by its arching branches, vivid pink flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer, and dark green leaves that change into striking crimson or orange hues in the fall.

The Rosa palustris is an excellent option for wetland gardens and is essential to the survival of nearby species. In addition, various pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, are attracted to its sweet-smelling blossoms. Its bright red rose hips also offer birds a nutritious food source throughout the colder months. Finally, the swamp rose is a go-to plant for landscape designers who want to create eye-catching gardens that are also good for the ecosystem.

Two swamp roses with light pink petals growing from a green bush
The graceful pink swamp rose will turn bright red in the fall.


2. Smooth Rose (Rosa Blanda)

The Rosa blanda, commonly known as the smooth rose, is an excellent choice for those who prefer a less prickly plant. Despite being a member of the rose family, the smooth rose doesn’t have many thorns and gets often classified as a shrub. As a colony-forming shrub, it can grow between 4 to 7 feet in height, with each plant showing a unique leaf shape and a number of blossoms.

In early summer, the smooth rose produces delicate white and pink flowers, often showing a few red streaks as the petals open. Although it can become invasive when grown in nutrient-rich garden soils, this plant is remarkably resilient and can survive in nutrient-poor habitats.

Smooth Rose (Rosa blanda) with Hoverfly - Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Also known as the meadow rose, the smooth rose is a thornless plant perfect for small gardens.

©Brian Lasenby/

3. Graham Thomas Rose (Ausmas)

The David Austin English Rose “Graham Thomas” is well-known for its bright, rich yellow flowers that bloom all season long. In addition, this beautiful shrub rose has a strong, fruity scent that will drift with the breeze. The Graham Thomas rose is a great choice for gardeners in Maryland and other places because it grows quickly and stands straight.

The Graham Thomas rose gets admired for its beauty and how well it does in different climates. With the right care and maintenance, this rose can grow well in full sun and partial shade, making it a good choice for various environments. The ‘Graham Thomas’ rose is popular for rose lovers who want to improve their gardens because it is beautiful and hardy.

Graham Thomas Rose
The beautiful yellow flowers of Graham Thomas flowers grow in clusters all season long.


4. Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana)

Rosa virginiana, also known as Virginia rose or common wild rose, is a native plant that grows mainly in the eastern part of the United States, including Maryland. This shrub loses its leaves in the fall. It has fragrant pink flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer and add a touch of beauty to many landscapes. The Virginia rose has compound leaves that are deep green and change to a pretty shade of red or orange in the fall. This gives the plant wonderful appeal all year long.

In addition to being beautiful, Virginia rose is an essential part of local ecosystems. Its flowers attract pollinators, like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, which help keep the environment healthy. With its beautiful flowers and environmental importance, the Rosa virginiana is a popular choice for gardeners who want to create a beautiful outdoor space.

Rose - Flower, Beauty, Beauty In Nature, Blossom, Botany
The Virginia rose blooms in midsummer, and the flowers last unusually long.

© Ryan

5. Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Multiflora rose, or Rosa multiflora, is a shrub that loses its leaves in the fall. It is native to East Asia but has spread and become invasive in many parts of the United States, including Maryland. The multiflora rose is an excellent addition to a garden. It has long, arching canes and small, fragrant white or pink flower clusters that bloom from May to June. But its fast growth and ability to form thickets have made it an invasive species in many landscapes.

Be mindful that they can overpower native plant species and disrupt local habitats. However, it does have some environmentally friendly benefits, such as giving birds and small mammals places to hide and nest.

Rosa multiflora (Japanese rose) .Lovely pure white rose -Rosa multiflora in bloom on the shore of a lake. Small group of wild multiflora roses .
The multiflora rose is native to Japan, China, and Japan.


You can choose from thousands of different rose types, each with unique traits, such as the following:

  • Hybrid tea roses: They are among the most common roses in gardens worldwide. Crossing two different kinds of roses together makes hybrid tea roses in various colors and smells. They are known for their large flowers with high centers that grow on tall, straight stems. Many hybrid tea roses bloom more than once, so you can enjoy their beauty and scent throughout the growing season.
  • Grandiflora roses: A type of rose with the qualities of hybrid tea roses and floribunda roses. This rose type has become increasingly popular among gardening enthusiasts in recent years. Grandiflora roses are known for their height and clusters of flowers on long stems. In addition, they usually have a lot of flowers, making them a good choice for gardeners who want to add a little drama to their outdoor space.
  • Shrub roses: Shrub roses are known for their hardiness and the many ways they can grow. They can grow up to 15 feet in any direction, which makes them a popular choice for garden borders and hedges. In addition, these roses are well-known for being able to handle cold weather and making strong clusters of flowers.
  • Climber roses: Known for their long and arching canes that you can grow along fences, trellises, or walls, among other things. Since these roses don’t attach themselves to the support structures independently, they must be tied or held in place to help them grow in the right direction. In addition, climbing roses usually have many flowers, creating a beautiful vertical display in the garden.
Yellow climbing roses covering a brown trellis in a garden
Climbing roses (pictured) will grow along sturdy structures for stunning aesthetic appeal.



Roses native to Maryland add a unique and beautiful touch to gardens all around the state. These plants can offer color to outdoor settings and help local ecosystems by giving pollinators and other animals food and a place to live. In addition, gardeners in Maryland can choose from an extensive range of popular roses with different colors, growth patterns, and scents.

There are so many kinds of roses to choose from that there is one for every taste and every garden. So whether you’ve been gardening for years or are just starting, planting a rose can be an enjoyable experience that makes your outside space look better.

The Featured Image

Double knockout roses have some of the most sought-after blooms on the market today.
Double knockout roses have some of the most sought-after blooms on the market today.
© JHVEPhoto/

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About the Author

The natural world is one of the most beautiful things, and I believe we should all do our part to protect it. After years spent in the South African bush, I found my way to writing about animals and nature in my work. My hope is to inspire others to appreciate and care for the world around them.

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