Monday, October 18, 2010

Wild Roses

Fall color isn't limited to foliage. Look at the three clusters of rose hips, all gathered on the 2010 Walk With Nature, an annual stroll along the canal path I mentioned last post. Aren't they lovely? And rich in vitamin C, too. It won't be long before the winter birds devour them.

Rosa multiflora features the tiniest hips. This rose is a non-native, once planted as natural fencerows. Unfortunately, the multiflora ability to thrive might have been too much of a good thing as it refused to stay put and now riots along roadsides and edges of woodlots. It's earned the dreaded "invasive" status. Appropriately named, the multiflora rose boasts a myriad tiny, single, white flowers in the spring. The flowers are followed by the hips, orangey red fruits.
The other two roses might be the native swamp rose, rosa palustris, and the pasture rose, rosa carolina. These roses are somewhat showier, having larger, but still single, pink flowers, followed by larger, redder hips.
The roses in my garden, after generations of careful breeding, produce glorious, many-petaled blooms in a rainbow of colors. The fragrance of many of them will knock your socks off. But once the weather turns cold and the garden roses go dormant, the show is over. It's then that the plain winter cousins outshine their cultivated relations, and it's then that I know the birds and wildlife--and I--appreciate the wild roses. Rose hip photos by JulenaJo.


  1. I know there is always a smile on your face Julena with all the beauty around. i can get the fragrance from your words. Wish you all the glory of nature all around, through all the seasons in your life Julena.

  2. I LOVE rose hips. You've got some beautiful specimens. Makes me want to go on a hike--secateurs in hand! :)