Rosa rugosa Alba is an ideal rose for hedging or wildlife gardens. Its lovely white, single blooms, up to 9cm wide, have silky, wrinkled petals and golden-yellow stamens in summer, followed by large, orange-red hips in late summer-autumn. It is informal though so if you would like a tidier, less "aggressive" more formal rose, here is our full range of shrub roses. However, for a mixed rose hedge you can also buy Rosa rugosa Rubra - the red flowering variety of this rose here. Flowers have a lovely strong, old-rose fragrance and the leaves are glossy, lush and healthy-looking. For a rose with simple flowers, it has many names, which can often lead to confusion. Rosa rugosa Alba is also known as the white flowering Ramanas rose; the white Japanese rose, the white wrinkled rose and in Japan, they are known as shore pears, as plants often grow near the coast.
It's an exceptionally tough plant and disease resistant, growing in temperatures well below -20C in its home in north-eastern Asia, often in pure sand on dunes. It has very thorny, densely-packed stems, ideal for creating impenetrable hedges, especially on poor soil in coastal areas. Rugosas are extremely hardy and disease resistant, and will thrive in poor sandy soils and coastal areas - even growing on sand dunes. They are usually very thorny; ideal for creating impenetrable hedges on our poor, salt-laden seaside soils. Salt-laden winds are not a problem either. It will also tolerate partial shade and exposed sites.
If you want a hedge to attract wildlife, Rosa rugosa Alba is an ideal choice, growing up to about 2 metres high. It can be interplanted with the red Rugosa rose for more colour. To increase the appeal to bees, birds, small mammals and other pollinators, add hawthorn and blackthorn. This is also easier to keep in trim if you need to cut it back.
Rosa rugosa Alba looks great in an informal garden or seaside cottage garden setting - in a large border, single plants can be used but make sure the thorns are well away from path edges or other plants with delicate, large leaves, or they will be ruined. If the hips last into late autumn/early winter, depending on how hungry your garden animals are, they look great against the dull copper/brown of winter beech leaves.
Rosa rugosa is native to north-eastern China, Japan, Korea and south-eastern Siberia, where it grows in very harsh climates on the coast, often on sand dunes, which, along with its thorns, makes it such a tough hedging plant. The Latin word 'rugosa' means wrinkled, referring to the petals.