Sweet Briar

What is sweet briar?

(Rosa rubiginosa)
Sweet Briar (Flowering), photo: Tim Rudman
Sweet briar is a troublesome weed of pasture.

How to identify sweet briar

  • Sweet briar is a member of the rose family. It forms a deciduous shrub 1 - 3 m high with stems carrying prickles and bristles. Suckering occurs freely from the crown, and bushes often exceed 1 m in diameter at the base.
  • The leaves have five to seven oval leaflets, each with serrated edges. The light pink flowers have a pleasant fragrance, while the fruit (called hips) are bright red when ripe and often have bristles.
  • The closely related dog rose (Rosa canina) is also found occasionally in Tasmania. It differs from sweet briar in having a larger flower which is white rather than pink.
  • For help in identifying sweet briar, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora database for Sweet briar illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.
Sweet Briar Fruit, photo: Tim Rudman
Images: (top) Sweet briar flowering; (above) Sweet briar fruit - both images by Tim Rudman.

Sweet briar in Tasmania

  • Sweet briar is not declared in Tasmania.
  • Sweet briar is found throughout the agricultural areas of Tasmania in both high and low rainfall areas. Sweet briar occurs along roadsides, on waste land and in pastures with low grazing pressure.
  • Sweet briar has no fodder value for sheep and cattle and stock do not readily graze close to bushes. Dense infestations in pasture decrease productivity and can cause difficulty in mustering stock. Sweet briar infestations can also harbour vermin such as rabbits.
Detailed management and control guidelines for sweet briar can be found in the Sweet briar Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Sweet briar Control. For further information see DPIPWE Weed Links and Resources.

See also:
Sweet Briar Control Guide
Herbicides for Sweet Briar Control
DPIPWE Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links:
Pest Genie

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