There are about 150 species of wild rose, but less than a dozen have gone into the creation of all the thousands of cultivated roses. Most have small single flowers and flower only once, in spring to summer. The Species Roses may be divided into their own different varieties. It may be sometimes difficult to identify the different species roses because there are so many varieties. On most the leaves are smaller than other types and the flowers are often single and the plants can de quite vigorous growers. Most only flower once a year and produce their best flowers and hips on second year wood.
Once Flowering Species Roses
After flowering, cut out dead, diseased, damaged, spindly and selected old (two years +) wood, keeping in mind the shape you want. Most American species roses (e.g. R. virginiana) are once flowering but their autumn toning and hip displays are worth delaying your pruning until late autumn or early winter. One oddity is R. sericea pteracantha, known for its translucent thorns. This should be cut to ground level to promote new growth for the early spring. .
Repeat Flowering Species Roses
In late autumn or early winter, keeping in mind the shape you want, cut out dead, diseased, damaged, spindly and selected old (two years +) wood. Trim the remainder to attain the shape you want. Cut off the hips in winter plus about one third of the older wood. Shorten back new canes to tidy the plant.