Many people choose to have roses in their garden because of their beautiful flowers. But many roses have another surprise in store after their flowers have faded: rosehips. They appear on the branches early in autumn and add colour in the garden until deep into winter. And they’re edible, too!
Roses that produce rosehips – known as rosehip roses – can be found among all the groups of roses: from shrub roses to climbing roses. They make little beads of colour – blue-green, yellow, orange, red or even black – in the autumn and winter garden. These roses can be planted in a border, used as a hedge, or even grown as a climbing plant scrambling over a pergola or up a wall.
All rosehips are edible but their flavour depends on the variety. They are a rich source of vitamin C, so a rosehip rose would be a perfect addition to an edible garden or a vegetable garden. These roses can be used to make items like jam, tea or syrup. Actually, rosehip roses could also be included in a garden meant to attract birds. Some birds, such as thrushes and blackbirds, eat the flesh of rosehips during the winter. Finches and other seed-eaters, however, pick out the seeds.
Plant them now
If you want to enjoy rosehip roses in your garden, autumn is the perfect time to plant them. The soil is still warm enough to allow the roses to start rooting before winter sets in. Next spring, they’ll be ready for a growth spurt.
- The shape of rosehips ranges from round to oblong; some are even pear-shaped.
- Branches heavy with rosehips look beautiful in autumn bouquets.
- It’s not just the rosehips that are edible: so are the rose petals.
- Roses – like strawberries, raspberries and apples – are all classified as members of the rose family (Rosaceae). No wonder they’re edible.