Rose hips, the lovely crabapple-like fruit which appear where the rose bush blooms once hung their pretty heads. They are often orange to a cherry red and stand out in the fall and winter landscape when most plants have lost their pizzazz. So after these shrubs have provided you with a spring and summer display of color hold back the urge to deadhead and you will be rewarded with hips! Use as a preserve, as a health aid, in a bouquet, even in beer making….yup you heard that right, move over hops and hello hips?! It’s clearly the plant that keeps on giving!
First of all let’s talk about their use in bouquets where they are frequently referred to as a fall specialty branch. An arrangement of yellow lilies and rose hip laden branches will make a simple yet striking fall bouquet. The branches are also worthy as a standalone in a vase and will add a hit of color to any room. Let your creative juices flow with these fall gems and design anywhere from elegant to hip (pun intended!) arrangements.
Now as we are rushing through life you must take time to stop and smell (or eat) the rose….hips! Some say that rose fruit, the hip, is tasty right off the bush. I can’t attest to that since I have not tried them but I do know that you are not to eat the hairy inner seeds of the hip. Trust me your intestines will thank you! You could nibble the flesh around the seeds or you can harvest them and use them in jellies, teas, sauces. Now I can vouch for rose hip jelly, it is sweet, light and lovely. The jelly is tasty as a dainty accompaniment to a scone and fresh cream….yum! You can also make the hips into syrup or a tea. It has been said that rose hips are used to treat arthritis, regulate your digestive system, fight cancer and the list goes on. Rosehip oil is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which are integral for tissue and cell regeneration in the skin. It helps to reduce scars and fine lines. With all these redeeming qualities and seemingly magical powers they really should be called superheroes!
If after all that positive talk about rose hips and what they can do for you, you still don’t want to harvest or decorate with them then leave the hips to be enjoyed by our friends of the forest…rabbits, deer, birds and squirrels.
- They are best to harvest after the first frost
- Do make sure no harmful pesticides were used before you use them for consumption
- Worth a second mention…do not eat the seeds
Some of the Varieties Available at Kato’s:
- ROSA RUGOSA ‘DR ECKENER’
- ROSA EXPLORER ‘CHARLES ALBANEL’
- ROSA RUGOSA ‘DART’S DASH’
- ROSA RUGOSA ‘SCABROSA’
- ROSA RUGOSA ‘PURPLE PAVEMENT’
- ROSA RUGOSA ‘MOJE HAMMARBERG’
- ROSA RUGOSA ‘BLANC DOUBLE DE COUBERT’
For all the varieties available at Kato’s please see our online catalogue available on our website.