Riparian Plants: California Rose - Rosa Californica
California Rose can be found across the floodplain, though it is most common in sun gaps in mixed riparian forests and Valley oak woodlands. This species grows vigorously in open sunlight to moderate shade. It grows best in the higher elevation floodplains, because it does not have to reach the water table with its roots and is tolerant of drought. California rose is moderately tolerant of long duration floods if the top of the plant remains above the water.
California Rose is a small shrub, reaching about 3 m in height. California rose typically creates a woody understory layer. Rose has several thin stems with prickles, and can form large, dense thickets. These thickets provide excellent escape and nesting cover for birds and small mammals. The flowers attract many insects including pollinators. The rose hips are energy and protein rich fruits eaten by squirrels, deer, porcupines, beavers, coyotes and birds, and stems are browsed by deer and rodents.
For more information about the ecological tolerances and structure of riparian plants, see Gaines 1977, Conard and others 1977, Holstein 1984, Sacchi and Price 1988, Faber and Holland 1996, Cooper and others 1999, Vaghti 2003, Fremier and Talley 2009, and Vaghti and others 2009.
California Rose dimensions