You can have your roses and eat 'em too : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From Organic Gardening and Farming, March 1977:

". . . the remarkable rosa rugosa has led the old rose comeback among organic gardeners. . . . not only is it a handsome, bloom-filled bush, but it produces something good to eat as well. The fat red hips (seedpods) deliver an abundant, tangy source of vitamin C, while the hardy rugosa shrub makes a fine hedge plant--often growing as high as six feet--with plenty of four-petalled flowers, wrinkled-leather foliage, and a fragrance that captures the air around it. [Ed's note--Old Git grows rugosas and many are attractively multi-petalled, just like old-fashioned roses.]

. . . they are about the only ones which thrive in the salt air and sand of seashore areas. Seldom do they have any insect or disease problems, and they take heat and extreme cold climates in stride."

[Ed's note: Rugosa shrub roses are often extremely thorny, making good animal/children/intruder fences.]

". . . they'll do quite well if they get at least five to six hours sun in a warm climate. . . . Plant at least two varieties to encourage cross-pollination. Good drainage is a big factor too."

"Along with vitamin C--anywhere from 500 to 6,000 milligrams in 100 grams--rose hips contain some vitamin A, B1, B2, E and K.. . . Harvest your rose hips in late fall when they've reached full color and are richest in food vcalue. If they're still orange, it's too early, but don't let them go beyond a deep apple-red. Besides tea and jam, you can make a very useful rose hip puree. Remove the blossom and stem ends of each hip, add about one pint of water for each pound of hips, and cook until tender in a covered enamel or glass saucepan. Then press the mixture through a sieve. This puree can be used to flavor soups, mixed with puddings, or serve with stewed meats and vegetables. . . ."

-- Old Git (, April 05, 1999


Just don't let Jerry Falwell see this one:

-- Tom Carey (, April 05, 1999.

Good idea! With a 100' length to cover how many bushes would one plant? how much spacing between bushes? and how fast do they grow?

-- Shelia (, April 05, 1999.

Probably depends on the particular bush you choose. Prices are from Wayside Gardens but if you search the Web, you could probably find less expensive ones. I like these roses very much, although it's sometimes difficult to find a bloom suitable for a vase. They are, however, extremely hardy and disease- and pest-resistant and are fragrant. If you dislike spraying roses every ten days (like me) then these are for you. however, if you do have roses with such needs, please spray just before dark. Bees and butterflies visit the blooms in the early morning and wet fungicide will kill them. There's a mite killing off bees at the moment and they need all the help they can get.

Blanc Double de Coubert - I have this one, pure white, semi-double blooms, exquisite citrus perfume, free blooming. Nice big thorns and lots of them! 4' tall x 6' wide. Fades some in the hottest weeks of summer, but worth it for the rest of the season. Each 9.95, three 26.95, six 49.95.

Fru Dagmar Hastrup - satin pink, 5 petals, "delightful fragrance," 4' x 6'. Each 9.95, two 8.95 ea, three or more 7.95 ea.

Linda Campbell, very heat tolerant, yet thrives in Denver. large clusters of 5-15 blooms, double, 5' x 8',repeat bloomer, not as thorny. Each 14.95, two or more, 13.95 ea, three or more 12.95 ea.

Alba (I believe this is the White Rose of York), single white flowers, subtle fragrance, continuous blooms, 6-7' x 6-7'. Each 12.95, three 33.00, six 59.95.

There are also Topaz Jewel (one of mine, low-growing, but very thorny), yellow; Sir Thos. Lipton, white (extremely fragrant); Sarah Van Fleet, pink (another one of mine, somewhat thorny, tall); Hansa, crimson; and lots more. Search on the Web!

-- Old Git (, April 05, 1999.

Lovely photo, Tom. Which one is that?

-- Old Git (, April 05, 1999.

I have quite a few of the species variety of rugosa rose which I grew from seed (don't recall where I obtained the seed). The only problem I have ever had was Japanese beetles. My understanding is that all members of the rose family edible in their entirety (except for the thorns).

-- Brooks (, April 05, 1999.

Thanks for taking the time to find and forward so much information...I've used rose hips tea for years. It's one of the best sources of Vitamin C and easily assimilated.

-- Shelia (, April 06, 1999.

Hi, Brooks, you're right--any rose is edible. The reason the rugosas are highlighted is because they have such large hips (don't we all, dear?) and are so easy to grow. Jaoanese beetles are a curse, true. The traps are useless, they just attract more from your neighbors' yards and the flowers still get eaten. Apparently, Japanese beetles seem to prefer light-colored flowers over dark, so you might plant a white or yellow rugosa as your own trap, then they'll leave the others alone (we hope). Then there's the biological warfare approach--I think it's called milky spore disease, which attacks ONLY Japanese beetle grubs in the soil and isn't toxic to anything or anyone else. Most catalogues carry it but I think you have to apply it in the spring--so hurry if you have a problem!

-- Old Git (, April 06, 1999.

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