Rosa rugosa, also known as rugosa rose or saltspray rose, grows natively in China, Korea and Japan. The plant and its hybrids adapt well to areas with temperate climates, such as the United States. Rosa rugosa's adaptability, beauty and relative ease of care have made it popular in gardens across the country. Most Rosa rugosa varieties reach heights of 4 to 6 feet; produce showy single, double or semi-double flowers; and bear colourful fruit in fall and winter.
Rosa Rugosa "Alba"
Rosa rugosa "Alba," also known as white rugosa rose, produces distinctive crinkled foliage and fragrant white flowers that reach up to 4 inches wide. In fall and winter, the plant bears large, decorative fruit in shades of red and orange. Extremely hardy, rosa rugosa "Alba" performs best in full sun and well-drained soil. The plant requires very little care aside from regular watering and yearly pruning. White rugosa rose thrives in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 8, and makes a good addition to shrub or border gardens in these areas.
Frau Dagmar Hastrup
Gardeners prize Frau Dagmar Hastrup, another popular Rosa rugosa variety, for its single, mildly fragrant, light-pink flowers that continue blooming through fall. Frau Dagmar Hastrup also produces decorative, brightly coloured fruit in the fall, and its foliage turns an attractive bronze colour after blooming ends. According to the University of Illinois, this rosa rugosa requires full sun, well-drained soil and pruning once a year. Frau Dagmar Hastrup performs best in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9.
Blanc Double de Coubert
Blanc Double de Coubert, also known as hedgehog rose, produces fragrant, semi-double, pure white flowers from spring to fall. Orange fruit sometimes follows, and the entire plant reaches up to 6 feet in height. Gardeners typically grow Blanc Double de Coubert in beds and borders, or as specimen plants because of their large size and showy blooms. This rosa rugosa variety prefers well-drained soil and full sun or partial shade, according to FineGardening.com, and a yearly pruning in late winter or early spring. This variety performs best in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9.
Rosa Rugosa "Hansa"
Rosa rugosa "Hansa," a popular hybrid rugosa rose, grows vigorously and features fragrant, deep purple to crimson double blooms throughout the spring and summer. Orange-red fruit follows the blossoms and adds a decorative element during the fall months. Rosa rugosa "Hansa" requires well-drained soil and full sun, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden, and thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8. Overhead watering and good air circulation prevent disease, and pruning in late winter or early spring keeps the plant attractive.
The University of Connecticut plant database notes that more than 50 selections and hybrids of rosa rugosa exist. Other common varieties include Alboplena, F.J. Grootendorst, Grootendorst Pink, Jens Munk, Therese Bugnet and Topaz Jewel. Gardeners value Rosa rugosa "Alboplena" for its double white blooms. F.J. Grootendorst and Grootendorst Pink are no longer widely recommended because of disease problems. Rosa rugosa "Jens Munk" produces semi-double pink blooms with yellow centres. Rosa rugosa "Therese Bugnet" bears fragrant, double pink flowers, and Rosa rugosa "Topaz Jewel" enjoys popularity for its profuse production of double yellow blooms.