Macquarie Valley Weeds Committee & Lachlan Valley Weeds Advisory Committee


Sweet Briar Rose

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Botanical Name: Rosa rubiginosa
Other Common Names:


Class Regions
Class 4Cabonne Council,Castlereagh Macquarie County Council,Cootamundra Shire Council,Cowra Council,Dubbo Regional Council,Mid-Western Regional Council,Orange City Council,Upper Macquarie County Council,Weddin Shire Council,Wellington
Landholder Responsibilities: The growth and spread of the plant must be controlled according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority
Why Is It Bad?: Sweet briar can reduce the carrying capacity of land, harbour rabbits, restrict vehicle access and restrict stock movements, especially where it occurs in clumps or patches. Sweet briar often invades unimproved grasslands and disturbed bushland. It prefers well drained areas of moderate fertility with little competition and light grazing. The weed can grow on most soil types. Generally it is confined to areas in NSW with an annual rainfall greater than 600mm. However, in lower rainfall areas, infestation can still occur in moist gullies and protected sites. Infestations are often heaviest in hilly and rocky country around trees on creek banks and along fence lines.


Habit: Shrub
Leaves: Sweet briar is an erect perennial shrub, commonly growing 1.5 to 2m high but can be up to 3m. Many stems arise form a shallow, perennial rootstock. They are smooth when young and become rough and woody as the plant ages. They arch towards the top and have numerous backward curving flat thorns up to 1.54cm long. The leaves are pinnate and have an apple - like fragrance. They consist of 2 to 4 pairs of oval leaflets plus one terminal leaflet. The leaflets have serrated margins and short prickles on the leaf stems.
Flowers: Flowers usually appear in late spring and are pink or white with 5 petals and ong green sepals or leaflike structures at the flower base. They form in loose clusters at the ends of the branches and are also fragrant.
Fruit: Orange to red, oval, to 2cm long, with short spines mostly at the stalkend.
Roots: Stout, generaly confined to the top 30cm layer of soil.

Control Methods

Manual Removal: Control should be based on the removal of establised plants and the prevention of seedling growht. Goats and sheep are effective in destroying whole plants over time.
Chemical Use: Herbicide control is most effective, please contact your local weeds officer or agronomist for a list of effecitve herbicides.
Slashing & Cutting:
Biological Control: The possiblility of biological control has been investigated in New Zealand, several agents have been tested.
Cultivation & Scalping: Deep ploughing effectively exposes the bulk of the roots, but ploughing is impossible if the clumps are large. After cultivation you will need to harrow the area to expose remaining roots to the sun. Further cultivation will be necessary in autumn t kill seedlings before sowing pasture.


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Image Credit: Megan Power

Image Credit: Megan Power

Image Credit: Megan Power

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