Recently, during an afternoon Elk hunting excursion into the forest behind our home, we saw a small stand of brilliant red jewels glowing brightly through the last vestiges of fall colors –
Wild Rose Hips!
Wild Roses are a woody perennial in the Rosaceae family which includes several other familiar plants: apples, pears, and cherries. Rose Hips are the “fruit” of the Rose plant.
The after the flower appears in early summer, the hips will begin growing and ripen in the late summer and early fall months. They taste best after the first frost, tasting sweet and citrusy and though shriveled, may even last into the harsh winter months.
Wild Roses grow in a variety of environments and thrive without any help. In the late spring, they are easily identified by their lovely pink flowers with 5 petals and multiple stamens. They are readily found on the edges of woodlands and wetlands.
You might notice these rose hips are oblong and quite a bit smaller than the hips you might find in your garden. Both are edible and are one of the highest plant sources Vitamin C and antioxidants.
A word of warning – while the flesh is edible, Rose Hips contain hairy seeds that can cause skin, mouth, and intestinal irritation in humans. Wild beasts and birds don’t seem to be bothered and rely on the wonderful nutrition the hips provide.
- make Rose Hip Jelly, straining out the seeds.
- dehydrate the Rose Hips and shake out the seeds and hairs.
- deseed your Rose Hips by cutting them in half and scooping out the seeds.
Once the seeds are removed, we dry ours to use in tea later. Maybe, if I find more, I’ll attempt to make some jelly or infuse some in a light oil, like sunflower and make a soothing facial cream.
How do you use your Rose Hips? Leave a comment below.
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