Rosa Canina

Botanical Name:Rosa Canina
Family:Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division:
Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. canina

Comon Name:Rosehip,  Dog rose

Etymology:
The name ‘dog’ has a disparaging meaning in this context, indicating ‘worthless’ (by comparison with cultivated garden roses) (Vedel & Lange 1960). It was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to treat the bite of rabid dogs, hence the name “dog rose” arose. (It is also possible that the name derives from “dag,” a shortening of “dagger,” in reference to the long thorns of the plant.) Other old folk names include rose briar (also spelt brier), briar rose, dogberry, herb patience, sweet briar, wild briar, witches’ briar, and briar hip.

*In Turkish, its name is ku?burnu, which translates as “bird nose.”
*In Swedish, its name is stenros, which translates to “stone rose.”
*In Norwegian, its name is steinnype, which translates to “stone hip.”
*In Danish, , its name is hunderose, which translates as “dog rose.”
*In Azeri, its name is itburunu, which translates as “dog nose.”

Habitat: Rosa Canina is native to Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa and southwest Asia. It grows in the hedges, scrub, woods, roadsides, banks etc.

 

Description:
It is a fast growing deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1-5 m, though sometimes it can scramble higher into the crowns of taller trees. Its stems are covered with small, sharp, hooked spines, which aid it in climbing. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are usually pale pink, but can vary between a deep pink and white. They are 4-6 cm diameter with five petals, and mature into an oval 1.5-2 cm red-orange fruit, or hip.

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The branches bearing two inch (5cm) wide white to pale pink flowers in June followed by glossy red egg-shaped hips in autumn. These are good for rose-hip syrup, or provide excellent bird food in winter.

Invasive species
Dog rose is an invasive species in the high country of New Zealand. It was recognised as displacing native vegetation as early as 1895 although the Department of Conservation do not consider it to be a conservation threat.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a circumneutral soil and a sunny position with its roots in the shade. When grown in deep shade it usually fails to flower and fruit.  Succeeds in wet soils but dislikes water-logged soils or very dry sites. Tolerates maritime exposure. The fruit attracts many species of birds, several gall wasps and other insects use the plant as a host A very polymorphic species, it is divided into a great number of closely related species by some botanists. The leaves, when bruised, have a delicious fragrance. The flowers are also fragrant. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Grows badly with boxwood. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat[80]. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 – 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 – 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested ‘green’ (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c. It may take 2 years to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring[78]. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 – 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame[78, 200]. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Tea.

Fruit – raw or cooked. It can be used in making delicious jams, syrups etc. The syrup is used as a nutritional supplement, especially for babies[238]. The fruit can also be dried and used as a tea. Frost softens and sweetens the flesh. The fruit is up to 30mm in diameter, but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. A coffee substitute according to another report. Petals – raw or cooked. The base of the petal may be bitter so is best removed. Eaten as a vegetable in China. The petals are also used to make an unusual scented jam

Medicinal Uses:
The petals, hips and galls are astringent, carminative, diuretic, laxative, ophthalmic and tonic. The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhoea and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a pleasant flavouring in medicines and is added to cough mixtures. A distilled water made from the plant is slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Resignation’ and ‘Apathy’. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. Ascorbic acid in Dog Rose shells (vitamin C, 0.2 to 2.4%).

The hips yield ascorbic acid and are of the greatest value when given to young children. Rosehip tea has a mild diuretic and tonic effect, and the fresh petals can be made into a delicate jam. Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C and are traditionally made into conserves and puries. They were collected from the wild during World War II when citrus fruit was scarce. They will help the body’s defenses against infections and especially the development of colds. They make an excellent spring tonic and aid in general debility and exhaustion. They will help in cases of constipation and mild gall-bladder problems as well as conditions of the kidney and bladder. One of the best tonics for old dogs. Dog rose hips reduce thirst and alleviate gastric inflammation. The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhea and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a pleasant flavoring in medicines and is added to cough mixtures. A distilled water made from the plant is slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bioactive compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Other Uses:
Plants make a dense and stock-proof hedge, especially when trimmed. 

Dog rose in culture
The dog rose was the stylized rose of Medieval European heraldry, and is still used today. It is also the county flower of Hampshire.

Known Hazards: There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_canina
http://www.bucknur.com/acatalog/product_10286.html
http://www.actahort.org/books/690/690_13.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rosa+canina
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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