Wild rose (Rosa species)

Wild Rose flowers are typically pinkish whiteThe Wild Rose shrub grows 60 centimeters to 2.5 meters (24 inches to 8 feet) high. Larger stems are usually densely covered with straight prickles.  It has alternate, sharply serrated edged leaves with 3-7 oval or slightly spear-head shaped leaflets per leaf. Its oval to pear-shaped flowers may be red, pink, or yellow (occasionally white) and typically have five petals. Younger flowers are typically darker in color.  Its elongated or round fruit, called rose hip, stays on the shrub year-round.  All species of roses are edible.

Where to Find: Wild Rose flowers typically have five petalsLook for wild roses in dry fields and open woods throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  They prefer dappled shade, moist, well drained soil.

Edible Parts: The flowers and buds are edible raw or boiled. In an emergency, you can peel and eat the young shoots. You can boil fresh, young leaves in water to make a tea. After the flower petals fall, eat the rose hips (remove any hairs and seeds in the center); the pulp is highly nutritious and an excellent source of vitamin C. Crush or grind dried rose hips to make flour.  The dried flowers can be eaten to help heartburn.

Note: Eat only the outer portion of the fruit as the seeds of some species are quite prickly and can cause internal distress.

Wild Rose plant growing in the wild

Wild Rose stems, leaves, and flower

Wild Rose leaves and flower

Wild Rose plant with spear-shaped leaves

Wild Rose with oval shaped leaves

Close up of Wild Rose leaves

Mature Wild Rose stems are densely covered with sharp thorns

Wild Rose flower just beginning to open up

Wild Rose hips are located at the base of the flower

Wild Rose hips