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Rose - Rosa spp

Rose - Rosa spp

Main features

  • A shrub that is found wild in woodland, hedgerows, and on waste ground

  • Rose is also heavily cultivated and highly-prized

  • Pinnate leaves with two to four pairs of serrated oval leaflets and one serrated oval terminal leaflet

  • Upright stems or long/scrambling branches with substantial prickles

  • Flowers are usually in white, pink, red, orange, yellow or purple colour tones

  • Can have five petals to many layered petals

  • The fruits, hips, are glossy and most often orange to red in colour

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Rose - Rosa spp

Edible plant - novice

Other common names: Dog Rose, Japanese Rose, Tea Rose, Fragrant Rose, Climbing Rose, Rambling Rose, Sweet Briar, Field Rose, Hedge Rose, Bramble, Wild Rose, Downy Rose, Standard Rose


Scientific name meaning: Rosa is the Latin name for the Rose genus

Season Summer - Autumn

Habitat - where will I find it? Rose grows wild in hedgerows, on waste ground, in gardens, parks, and woodland edges. It is also a highly-prized ornamental

Description - what does it look like? Rose can have long scrambling or climbing branches, or erect stems. The shrubs can reach from 50cm to several metres tall. They are usually covered in substantial prickles.

The leaves have a pinnate formation, usually with two to four pairs of oval, serrated-edged leaflets and one oval, serrated-edged terminal leaflet.

The flowers have from five neatly arranged petals, to many overlapping petals, depending on the species and variety. Petals are usually in white, yellow, orange, pink, red, and purple colour tones.

The fruit, or hips, that follow are glossy skinned and orange to red in colour. However, some species have very dark almost black-looking hips. 

Possible lookalikes Raspberries or Blackberries before flowering. However, Blackberry has palmate leaves, and the pickles on the leaves of Raspberries are far more delicate/fragile

Use as a food The petals can be used to make jams, jellies, cordials, wine, syrup, fruit leather, spices and chutneys. The stronger smelling the flower, the more taste it will yield from its petals.

The fruits can be used to make jam, syrup, wine and jelly - see Hazards.

Use in herbal medicine Has been used to treat menstrual complaints, respiratory conditions, and some species are being researched for their use against cancerous tumours

If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner

Other uses Popular as a cut flower

Hazards Some species are thought to have laxative properties. The hips contain seeds that are covered in tiny hairs that irritate the mouth and digestive tract, as well as the skin. Care must be taken to remove these when preparing hips for food

Importance to other species Provides an important food source for pollinators, particularly bees, and aphids. The aphids, in turn, are a food source for small birds

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!

Rose - Rosa spp
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