Information on Sweet-briar

Common Name: Sweet-briar
Scientific Name: Rosa rubiginosa
Irish Name: Dris chumhra
Family Group: Rosaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Sweet-briar could sometimes be confused with:


This shrub bears most attractive bright pink flowers, (2.5 -  4 cm across) in clusters of 1 – 3, on erect bristled stems that have hooked prickles in various sizes. The flowers are mostly seen during June and July. The sepals are erect or spreading and are usually in place until the fruit ripens. The leaflets are 5 – 7, oval, rounded at their base, quite hairy on their veins, particularly on the under-side and have gland-tipped teeth. The rear of the leaflets is covered with sweet-scented glands that smell of apples when they are crushed. The fruits – or hips – are hairless and have glandular hairs, sparsely. Growing from 1.5 – 2 metres in height, Sweet-briar is a native perennial, found on grassland, scrub, hedges and verges. Its status in Ireland is that of ‘Least Concern’. 

I first saw this beautiful plant in Gibletstown, Co Wexford in 2019 where it was photographed.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

In his ‘Flora of County Wexford’, Paul Green (BSBI Vice-county Recorder for Wexford) writes ‘..on the few summer days we have, these scent the air around the bush’.