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Woods’ Rose

Rosa woodsii

APPEARANCE

These plants are prickly be careful not to get too close. They have spikes at the bottom of each leaf, which can easily hook themselves into your clothes. The flowers are bright pink, which look very different from roses you can buy in a flower shop. The rose flower has five large heart shaped petals that develop into dark red hard berries in the fall.

RANGE & HABITAT

These roses are found throughout southern B.C. and continue far south to northern Mexico as well as east to the great lakes region. These wild rose plants are found on mid to low elevation open slopes in the dry southern interior rocky slopes.

LIFE CYCLE

When the earth warms up after the long cold winter the rose buds develop and bloom in June and July. At the end of their blooming period the flower, now pollinated, develops into a dark hard berry which is called a ‘hip’.

ANIMAL USES

Even though they are prickly, some animals browse rose plants.

TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES

The hips of the Wood’s Rose were used as an emergency food source. First Nations people also made teas from the petals, leaves and inner bark. The tea was then used to  treat influenza, diarrhea and cold symptoms

MODERN USES

People make a tea out of the hips, which is very rich in vitamin C.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.nwplants.com

Photo: Wikimedia Commons