In March and again in June, I wrote of our large, thorny, white Rosa rugosa. Its fragrance has been a stand-out feature of the perennial beds this summer. I can’t walk by without burrowing my nose into the blooms — after checking for bees, of course. Since pruning in March, the bush has grown to reach about 6 feet tall again. It has bloomed throughout September, but its current appeal for me is these beautiful, large seed pods or rose hips.
I’m holding off harvesting them, trying to bide my time until the first frost since frost is known to sweeten the hips. Rose hip tea uses at least 4 fresh hips, so maybe I’ll get a few cups made from this bush! This photo shows the inside of a rose hip; seeds should be removed since they can be an irritant.
This week the similarities between the apples we’ve been harvesting and these hips led me to research and confirm that roses and apples do indeed come from the same family, Rosaceae. Rosaceae includes many of the edible fruits here at Coppertop — apples, pears, plums, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It also includes almonds and many ornamental trees and shrubs.