This is a small, rare rose. Like Wood Rose (Rosa gymnocarpa), it has smaller flowers than California Rose (Rosa californica) and prickles that are straight and slender. The flowers are a little larger than Wood Rose (petals 15–20 mm long), usually pink to red and with more numerous (10–20) pistils. The hypanthium is also broader, 4 mm wide at the base of the petals. Leaflets are generally nor more than 7 in number. Its sepals are persistent, i.e. they remain on the hip as it matures. This is a problematic species, pure (non-hybrid) forms are uncommon.