Invasive SpeciesMultiflora rose

Rosa multiflora
FOUND by Bittersweet Buddies
South Portland
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Mrs. Gurnee
Peer reviewed by Purple Dragons
Field Notes
The weather outside was cold. It was in the high 40's with a chilly breeze. The sky had some sun at times, but was mostly covered with whitish, grayish clouds. The smell surprised me because usually in late October it smells like fall, but when our group was outdoors it smelled like winter. While we were outside we heard a lot of cars and people, and the crunch of leaves under our feet. There was lots of trees, grass, cars, and the kids at the school next to us were playing. One of the things we had a difficulty with, was when we were trying to take a picture, the lighting wasn't the best, because without the sun it was darker. Another problem was when we were trying to take a picture, the thorns were poking us. I was happy that we think we found the plant that we were looking for.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
In about May or June the flowers of the Rosa Multiflora bloom into a white color but by October and November they become berries with a red , orange and yellow look. We know this species is not the Japanese Barberry, because the berries turn a purple reddish color after September.
Photo of my evidence.
The thorns on the Rosa Multiflora, are green or brown thorns. They are curved and look like cat claws. The thorns do not completely cover the stem. We also know this is not the Japanese barberry because it's thorns are long, skinny, and pointy.
Photo of my evidence.
The leaf of Rosa Multiflora is usually accompanied by 5-9 other leaflets on a stem. The leaflets also have tiny weeny hairs on there underside but on the top they are much darker and shinier, they have pointed tips and the leaf is oval like with a sort of a toothed look to them. I think it's Rosa Multiflora because it has the same characteristics of the plant. We know it's not the Japanese Barberry because of the leaves the leaves on the barberry is much more of an oval shape and with every cluster of leaves they're same thorn .
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Rosa multiflora
Common name:
Multiflora rose
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.634866 °
W -70.250921 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
Mill Creek Trout Brook
Trip date: 
Tue, 2014-10-21 12:10
Town or city: 
South Portland
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey


You've correctly identified multiflora rose. The most compelling feature for me is the little "fringe" at the base of each compound leaf.

You noted that the fruits are similar to barberry fruits. The next time you have a chance, you should cut open a barberry fruit side-by-side with a multiflora rose fruit. You'll see that "small, oval, red" is a set of characteristics shared by many plant fruits ... but the inside of the fruit tells the real story. Once you see the difference between rose and barberry fruits, you'll never forget it!

Good job.