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Spring is in bloom and as May slowly rolls into June more plants blossom, some wanted and some not.

Wild roses are considered invasive. Years ago I managed a couple of bushes in a meadow area, cutting them to the ground, keeping area trimmed. I noticed birds and rabbits used the thorny shrubs as habitat and as protection from predators.  I understand today the Rosa multiflora supports little wildlife. It was brought to our country from the Far East. in the mid 1800’s. States were encouraged to plant this shrub as fencing for livestock, use in the medians of highways. What no one could foresee is that d ended up invading fields, forests and can easily out compete native species.

Rosa carolina is native to eastern US.

The hip forms after the flowers bloom and fade . They ripen in early to mid fall. The wild Multiflora rose has a small hip compared to Rosa rugosa, another hardy perennial that can withstand salt and is found in many areas coastal areas such as Cape Cod.

The Hip contains Vitamin C, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, calcium, citrates, citric acid, iron malates, malic acid niacin, Phosphorus, Vitas, A, B1, B2, E K&D. These active ingredients have been shown to decrease joint pain, inflammation ad stiffness of joints. Euell Gibbons in “Stalking the Healthful Herbs” notes that the Vitamin C content in one cup of hips is more than 10 – 12 dozen oranges! Rose hips were gathered during WWII when fruits and vegetables were in short supply in England and widely distributed.

Rose Petals: I have gathered baskets of petals and let dry in baskets on a spring day and let the soft perfume permeate a bedroom, kitchen, etc

I have also gathered rose petals and placed in a 1 quart mason jar about 2/3 full, then poured almond oil (good for dry skin) and filled jar. I covered jar and let it sit in my windowsill. Once infused for 4-6 weeks I  strained oil and made a luscious skin cream.

In the supplement industry production of rosehips capsules or tinctures uses the  Rosa canina cultivated plant shown below.

Rosehips: gather when they first turn red in late summer or early fall. I cut mine in half and spread on a cookie sheet to let dry. Once dry I store them in a glass jar and add to any tea I am brewing that day. Rosehips are bitter so a little goes a long way, maybe 1/2tsp /tea mixture.

I am sure some of you are expert Jam and Jelly makers. Rose petal jam was a favorite of the early colonists, especially groups such as the Shakers.Do you have a rose recipe to share? If so I would enjoy knowing about it.

Enjoy your day. Judith


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