The wild rose grows up to one and a half metres tall and has stems covered in short, hard prickles. It has a large pink single flower with a strong sweet smell. The flowers ripen into red oval “hips” that stay on the bush all winter long.
RANGE & HABITAT
The wild rose is found from Alaska to Quebec, the northern US and New Mexico. It is common in open areas and clearings.
Wild roses are pioneer species, like lodgepole pine, and they are often found in areas that have been recently disturbed by humans or fires.
The rose fruits (called hips) are eaten through autumn and early winter by coyotes, bears and other wildlife.
TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES
The fleshy part of the hips are very high in vitamin C and can be eaten. The petals were used for tea and the soft part (cambium) of the roots was scraped off and soaked into an ointment for sore eyes. The wood of the plant was used to make arrows
The hips are used to make jams and jellies, and are still thought of as an excellent source of Vitamin C.
COSEWIC: Not at Risk