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Prickly Rose

Rosa acicularis

Prickly Rose

APPEARANCE

The prickly rose is a shrub that can grow to be quite large reaching up to 15 metres tall. The average size is 1.5 metres and it is covered with prickly stems that have beautiful, pink fragrant flowers.

RANGE & HABITAT

This shrub is found throughout B.C. in open areas in floodplains, on open rocky slopes and in disturbed areas. It is a very common plant occurring almost around the world in these types of habitats.

LIFE CYCLE

The flowers of the prickly rose appear in late May through to July. These flowers eventually turn into the bright scarlet red seed pods called ‘hips’ by the fall which then remain on the rose bush all winter long.

ANIMAL USES

Animals like coyote and bear and other wildlife eat these bright scarlet hips through the autumn. The stems and leaves are also food for some animals.

TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES

The hips of the rose are very high in Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals. The rind of the hip was eaten when other food was scarce and sometimes just as a treat, but the seed was never eaten. Arrows were fashioned from rose wood and the cambium was processed to make an ointment for the eyes.

MODERN USES

The hips are used to make jams, jellies, and syrups out of the shoots, stems, flowers, leaves and fruit. Tea is also made from the petals, leaves and roots of the plant as a way to get the nutritional value from them.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.wildflower.org

Photo: Yukon White Light