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What are rose hips used for?

I have recently moved house and in the new garden are a number of 'rose hips'. I was wondering if you could tell me what rose hips are used for.


Rose hips are the fruit of a rose that develop after the petals have fallen. They can be used for making jellies, jams and even tea. They are very high in Vitamin C, more so than oranges, for example. In fact, they have up to 60 times the Vitamin C of citrus fruit. In Britain during World War II they were used to prevent scurvy during a shortage of citrus fruit.

Rose hips are useful in winter for providing colour in the garden. They also provide food for wildlife, and the seeds contained within the hip can be used for propagation purposes.

They are probably best grown on roses that bloom only once. That's because with repeat bloomers you will want to deadhead the flowers to encourage more blooms. If you cut off the fading blooms, you are also cutting off the unformed rose hips. If you leave the rose hips on, they will sap the plant's energy and prevent subsequent flowering of repeat bloomers.

Rosa rugosa is an exception to the rule, however. It is a repeat-flowering rose that can also produce green and red rose hips at the same time as flowering.

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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