Wrinkled Rose Hips and All!   1 comment

Rosa rugosa, has many common names, including, beach rose, wrinkled rose, salt spray rose, Japanese rose and beach tomato.

This hardy, disease and Nor’easter resistant shrub grows wild on the coastline of New England and along roadsides in the north-eastern United States and Canada, as well as in Alaska and Washington; commonly being the first shrub in from the coast; growing in dense clumps, with very bristly, thorn laden stems.

The simple, five petal flowers, bloom throughout spring and summer, are white to dark purple-pink, with a showy yellow and white center, 4-6 inches across, with faintly to very wrinkled petals that perfume the air with a heady rose fragrance. Wrinkled rose petals and leaves can be gathered throughout Spring and Summer.

Rosa rugosa leaves are 2 to 6 inches long, pinnate, with 5–9 leaflets, which are distinctly wrinkled, with toothed edges.  The leaves turn bright yellow before falling in autumn.  Watch out for those thorns!!

Wrinkled Rose hips are stout, ½ to 1 inch across, shorter than their diameter; green, when young, turning yellow, orange and bright red, when ripe, with five calyx lobes at the end.  In late summer and early autumn Wrinkled Rose offers fruit and flowers at the same time.  Rose hips also have a long harvesting window; as they often remain on the bush throughout the harsh winter months. 

Fresh wrinkled rose petals add a citrusy tang, and a splash of unusual color to salads, yogurt, deserts and sandwiches.  Wash the petals well before using, and trim off the bitter, white cuticle at the base of the petal.  Fresh rose petals can be used whole or bruised.  I bruise the petals by rubbing a small bunch between my hands, over a plate; several times.  Crushed rose petals are wonderful in cream, yogurt or ice cream and make a tasty rose butter.  Just mix 1 part crushed rose petals into 2 parts softened butter and spread on toast, crackers or (my favorite) cooked vegetables.

Wrinkled Rose hip tea has long been a popular cold remedy, due to the high amount of vitamin C contained in the fruit.  Rosa rugosa hips or haws have a sharp, burst of citrus flavor and are larger and juicier than the hips of most other roses.  When removing the seeds I need to wear gloves.  The high citrus acid content inflames my ultra sensitive skin.  Once the hips are gutted I either eat them fresh (great stuffed with cream cheese), or dry, to brighten the dead of winter.

Tea made with the petals and leaves of the Wrinkled Rose has a delicate floral flavor.  I like to bruise several fresh petals and leaves, together, add boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, strain and enjoy.  When the fresh flowers and leaves are gone a tablespoon of dried, hand crushed petals and leaves, also makes a lovely cup of tea. A teaspoon of honey is always a welcome addition.

To make Rose Syrup, bring to a rolling boil 8 cups fresh or 4 cups dried petals (always remove the white, bitter base) with 2 cups water and 1 cup sugar for 10 minutes, strain the petals, pour into a sterilized jar and seal.  Rose petal syrup keeps well in the frig for a month or so; and is great on toast, deserts and, of course, pancakes and waffles. The nice thing about using dried petals is that I can make syrup, any time!  For a sharper, more citrusy syrup ½ the petals and use an equal amount of hips.

To make Rose Vinegar, pour 2 cups of hot vinegar into a sterile mason jar, filled with 2 cups fresh, bruised or 1 cup dried, crushed rose petals; and let steep (sealed) for a week, then strain and use the floral vinegar in dressings, pickling recipes or wherever!  For a sharper, more citrusy vinegar ½ the petals and use an equal amount of hips.

To candy Rose petals, brush washed, dried and trimmed rose petals with egg white, then dip in superfine sugar. Allow to dry, on parchment paper, then use to garnish cakes and deserts.  Unfortunately the candied petals don’t store well at all; which makes them a seasonal treat.

For a fabulous facial: combine 1/2 teaspoon rolled oats with 1 teaspoon dried rose petals and crush.  Add 1 tablespoon almond or olive oil.  Let sit and soften for 15 minutes, or so.  Apply the mixture (over the sink) to your face and neck, gently massaging into your skin; then rinse with warm water.  Wash with a mild soap (I love Dr. Bronners Peppermint Oil Soap); and pat dry.  Last, apply a teaspoon of active, plain yogurt to your face and neck; and viol’a!

For a fabulous handcial and/or footcial, use the same recipe, except, omit the oatmeal and add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the mixture.  Rub gently into your hands and vigorously into your feet.  Again, rinse, wash with gentle soap and apply yogurt.  You will be amazed at how soft, fresh and smooth your skin will become.  Certainly, any rose can be used in all of these recipes.

A nice way to rinse your face, each day is with wildcrafted Wrinkled Rose Water. Into a clean, sterile jar, pour 1 pint of boiling water over 1 cup fresh, bruised or ½ cup crushed, dried petals and steep, sealed for 24 hours, then strain and refrigerate, for up to 1 week.  A splash in the morning is a lovely way to start the day!  Rose Water can also be added to your favorite lotion, shampoo, conditioner, or just straight rinsed through your hair after a regular shampoo and rinse.

Dried rosebuds make lovely potpourri, sachets and dream pillows.  I like to string fresh rose buds and hang them in a sunny window.  An occasional dab of essential oil helps keep them fragrant; as they dry.

 For Dream Pillows:

1/2 cup orris root

2 cups dried lavender flowers

1 cup dried hop flowers

1 cup dried chamomile flowers

1 cup dried pineapple weed flowers

1 cup dried lemon verbena

3 cups dried rosebuds and/or petals

1/2 cup dried mugwort

8 crushed cloves

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl, stock pot or (better yet) a gallon jar.  4 to 6 inch square is a good size and pillows can be stuffed with 1/2 herbal mixture and 1/2 cotton or wool.  These dreamy delights keep their strength for about a year; are safe and certainly will encourage relaxation.  Just tuck 1 inside your pillowcase and ‘sleep, perchance to dream’.

I am so grateful for this immense bounty. L’chiam!  Working on this post, if I close my eyes, and inhale deeply, I can almost feel the sun shining on my shoulders and nearly smell that marvelous mix of sea salt and Wrinkled Rose.

Just click on any photo to enlarge.

Thanx for stopping by.  See you next time.

 For more roses, please see:






One response to “Wrinkled Rose Hips and All!

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  1. Pingback: Springing Into Summer, Along the Wareham River. « Forageporage's Blog

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