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Synonyme: Rose, Eglantine, R. eglanteria.
Common Names: Sweet briar or Eglantine Rose
Habitat :Rosa rubiginosa is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, the Caucasus and Himalayas. It grows on open copses and old hedgerows. Usually found on calcareous soils, it is one of the first shrubs to colonize chalk grassland.
It is a dense deciduous shrub 2–3 m high and across, with the stems bearing numerous hooked prickles.The foliage has a strong apple-like fragrance. The leaves are pinnate, 5–9 cm long, with 5-9 rounded to oval leaflets with a serrated margin, and numerous glandular hairs. The flowers are 1.8–3 cm diameter, the five petals being pink with a white base, and the numerous stamens yellow; the flowers are produced in clusters of 2-7 together, from late spring to mid summer. The fruit is a globose to oblong red hip 1–2 cm diameter
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Succeeds in most soils, preferring a circumneutral soil and a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes water-logged soils. 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. Grows well on chalk. A very ornamental plant. The leaves are apple-scented. The flowers are slightly scented. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
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. 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. 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. 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; Stem.
Edible Uses: Tea.
Fruit – cooked. It is used in making jellies etc. The taste is best after a frost. The fruit is up to 25mm 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. A pleasant tasting fruity-flavoured tea is made from the fruit, it is rich in vitamin C. Petals – raw or cooked. Remove the bitter white base. Used in confectionery. Young shoots – raw. Used as they come through the ground in spring. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground into a powder and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs.
An infusion of dried rose petals can be used to treat headaches and dizziness, with honey added the infusion is used as a heart and nerve tonic and a blood purifier. A decoction of the petals is used to treat mouth sores. The seed is rich in vitamin E and an oil extracted from the seed is used externally in the treatment of burns, scars and wrinkles. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids 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.
In addition to its pink flowers, it is valued for its scent, and the hips that form after the flowers and persist well into the winter.
The plant makes a good low hedge. The prickles on the stem make it a useful security hedge.
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.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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