The name of the genus is an old Latin one. It contains some 200 wild species distributed throughout the temperate and subtropical zones of the northern hemisphere, as far south as Ethiopia, the Himalayas and Mexico. They are mostly shrubs, very occasionally small trees, generally deciduous, rarely evergreen. The leaves are simple or odd-pinnate with stipules at the base of the petiole, and theare borne singly or in clusters at the tips of short branches. The numerous stamens and pistils are enclosed in a cup which ripens into a fleshy fruit called a hip containing small pip-like samaras. The garden classification of is very complex. The simplest division contains the following groups: wild (or species) roses, , climbers, polyantha and roses, hybrid tea, floribunda and .
Rosa multiflora belongs to the first group. A shrub growing to a height of 4m (13ft), it is a native of Japan and Korea introduced into Europe in 1865. The small, white blossoms, 1.5 to 2 m (¾in) across, are borne in large panicles in June. This is one of the few roses that is propagated by woody cuttings. These are taken in the autumn, stored for the winter in a cool, frost-free place such as a cellar, and planted directly in beds in the spring. It is also possible to propagate Rosa multiflora by means of stratified seeds.
All roses require moderately heavyand a regular application of feed.