Synonyms : R. ferox.
Common Names: Rugosa rose, Wrinkled Rose, Japanese rose, or Ramanas rose
Habitat: Rosa rugosa is native to E. Asia – N. China, Japan, Korea. Naturalized in several places in Britain. It grows in sandy sea shores.
It has naturalized itself in the sand dunes of the New England seacoast.
Rosa rugosa is a suckering shrub which develops new plants from the roots and forms dense thickets 1–1.50 m tall with stems densely covered in numerous short, straight prickles 3–10 mm long. The leaves are 8–15 cm long, pinnate with 5–9 leaflets, most often 7, each leaflet 3–4 cm long, with a distinctly corrugated (rugose, hence the species’ name) surface. The flowers are pleasantly scented, dark pink to white (on R. rugosa f. alba (Ware) Rehder), 6–9 cm across, with somewhat wrinkled petals; flowering occurs in spring
The hips are large, 2–3 cm diameter, and often shorter than their diameter, not elongated; in late summer and early autumn the plants often bear fruit and flowers at the same time. The leaves typically turn bright yellow before falling in autumn.The plant is not frost tender.
Prefers a light well-drained soil but succeeds in most soils including dry ones. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a circumneutral soil and a sunny position. Dislikes water-logged soils. Tolerates maritime exposure. Plants are said to withstand temperatures down to -50°c without damage. The foliage is said to resist disease. A very ornamental plant, it suckers freely but these are fairly easily controlled. There are a number of named varieties. ‘Scabrosa’ is said to be larger in all its parts, including the fruit, though it has not proved to be much larger with us. The flowers have a clove-like perfume. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Dislikes boxwood. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. 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
Fruit – raw or cooked. They are very sweet and pleasant to eat, though it takes quite a bit of patience to eat any quantity. The fruit is a fairly large size for a rose with a relatively thick layer of flesh. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter. Rich in vitamin C, containing up to 2.75% dry weight. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. Flowers – raw or cooked. An aromatic flavour, they are also used in jellies and preserves. Remove the bitter white base of the petals before using them. Young shoots – cooked and used as a potherb. Harvested as they come through the ground in spring and are still tender. 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. A pleasant tasting fruity-flavoured tea is made from the fruit, it is rich in vitamin C. A tea is also made from the leaves.
The leaves are used in the treatment of fevers. The flowers act on the spleen and liver, promoting blood circulation. They are used internally in the treatment of poor appetite and digestion, and menstrual complaints arising from constrained liver energy. The root is used in the treatment of coughs. 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.
In China, the flowers are used to make tea to improve the circulation and to “soothe a restless fetus”. Tea and Jelly made from the rose hips are a very rich source of Vitamin C. The rose hips of this plant have the highest natural concentration of Vitamin C of any other natural source of Vitamin C, including all of the citrus fruits. For the sufferer of scurvy, the Rosa rugosa is a medicinal plant; for the rest of us, it is a nutritional plant.
Other Uses: The plant makes a good low hedge. It is very tolerant of maritime exposure, but is very bare in winter
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.