Description from Flora of China
Rosa sericea Lindley f. aculeatoeglandulosa Focke; R. sericea f. inermieglandulosa Focke; R. sorbus H. Léveillé.
Shrubs erect, 1–4 m tall. Branchlets slender; prickles absent or if present, paired below leaves, terete, straight, to 7 mm, abruptly flaring to a broad base, or prickles winglike, to 1.5 cm and 3 cm in diam.; bristles absent or if present, dense. Leaves including petiole 3–6 cm; stipules mostly adnate to petiole, free parts triangular-ovate, margin serrate or entire, sometimes glandular; rachis and petiole with a few small prickles; leaflets (5–)9–13(–17), oblong or elliptic-oblong, 8–30 × 4–10 mm, abaxially glabrous or pubescent, glandular or not, adaxially glabrous, with concave midvein, base rounded-obtuse or broadly cuneate, margin acutely serrate, apex acute or rounded-obtuse. Flower solitary, axillary, 2.5–3.5 cm in diam.; pedicel 6–20 mm, glabrous; bracts absent. Hypanthium obovoid or pyriform, glabrous. Sepals 4, lanceolate, abaxially subglabrous, adaxially sparsely pubescent, margin entire, apex acuminate or long caudate. Petals 4, white, obtriangular-ovate, base broadly cuneate, apex emarginate. Styles free, shorter than stamens, villous. Hip bright to deep red or yellow, obovoid or pyriform, 8–15 mm in diam., glabrous or glandular-pubescent, with persistent, erect sepals; pedicel yellow, tapering to hip, 6–20 mm, stout, fleshy, glabrous. Fl. May–Jun, fr. Jul–Sep.
Four forms can be recognized: R. omeiensis f. omeiensis, which has leaflets abaxially pubescent to subglabrous and non-glandular; f. glandulosa T. T. Yü & T. C. Ku (Bull. Bot. Res., Harbin 1(4): 7. 1981), which has abaxially densely glandular leaflets; f. pteracantha Rehder & E. H. Wilson (in Sargent, Pl. Wilson. 2: 332. 1915), which has branches with purple, broad, flat, winglike prickles; and f. paucijuga T. T. Yü & T. C. Ku (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 18: 502. 1986), which has only 5–9 glabrous leaflets, slightly turgid fruiting pedicels, and is intermediate between R. omeiensis and R. sericea.
The root bark, which contains about 16% tannin, is used for tanning. The sweet, edible fruit are used medicinally and to ferment wine.
Abies forests, thickets, scrub, pastures, hillsides, slopes; 700--4000 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Hubei, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan.