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Native Shrub



Rosa canina



The wild rose of summer celebrated in song and verse, the flowers are typically found in long established hedges where they enliven our roadsides with their large blooms, which vary in colour from white to deep pink.

In Autumn, the rose hips develop, colourful red containers for the small seeds within. Small birds are able to extract the seeds, in spite of irritating protective hairs within the rose hip.

Other species, and small mammals such as field mice, eat the flesh of the rose hip itself.

Traditionally, they were harvested and used for rose hip cordial, syrup or wine. Rose hips are a rich source of vitamin C.

There are a number of other less common species widely distributed around the country.

Among these are the Burnet rose (Rosa pimpinellifolia), a small wild rose, is found on coastal sand dunes and at a few inland sites also. it has a cream flower followed by very dark hips.

It can be grown in free-draining sites in gardens, but should perhaps not be introduced outside its normal habitat.


Wild rose hips may be collected from hedgerows in the autumn, though gloves are essential!


The hips may be stored over winter but will need to be checked to ensure they do not go mouldy. The seeds must be extracted from the hips (which may be squashed) and then sown straight away but they will not germinate for two winters. They need to be stratified over two winters before they will germinate.


Rose plants may literally be split to form several plants. They will grow suckers if cut back to the roots and these suckers may be transplanted. It is also possible to drop or layer branches, which will root, or to take cuttings.

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