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Pasture Rose (Rosa Virginiana and/or carolina)

The familiar wild rose of Nova Scotia grows on a shrub which can be 1 to 4 feet tall. The flowers, which are in abundance over the tops of the shrub, are showy and fragrant. Though I have seen white ones and red ones, normally, the flowers are pink and found at the tip of thorny stems. The flowers have five petals and develop into reddish or orangish fruits, rosehips. Roland makes a distinction between the virginiana and the carolina, viz., the virginiana "is a coarser plant throughout ... stouter and broader-based ... flowers are almost always borne on branches from the old wood." The carolina is a smaller bush and "shoots from the ground will often bear flowers on the first year's growth." Roland suggests that considerable field work needs yet to be done on these two common wild roses of Nova Scotia. Roses will flower throughout the growing season, but slow down as August comes. The rosehips fatten up during the last of the summer and will remain on the bush, if undisturbed, through to spring and are a source of food to our little overwintering friends in the forest. As indicated by their name, a pasture rose is usually found out in the open. It likes sandy or rocky places. "... wet pastures, thickets and common along the heads of the salt marshes, dykelands and swamps." (Roland.)
Edibility: Rosehips are rich in Vitamin C; there is as much Vitamin C in three small rosehips as there is in a large orange. They can be made into jams, jellies and syrups. (See McLeod, p. 58, for recipes.) Either dried flowers or rosehips can be used to make tea.

An image of the Pasture Rose

An image of the Pasture Rose
(Hi Res available email blupete)

An image of the Pasture Rose

An image of the Pasture Rose

An image of the Pasture Rose
(Hi Res available email blupete)

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Peter Landry

2011