With so many fancy rose hybrids available, why would you bother growing a species rose from seed? Well, rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa) has many marvelous qualities, including rich green leaves with bright red, orange, and/or yellow fall color, and good-sized, single, bowl-shaped pink blooms from early summer into fall. The flowers are always buzzing with bees, so be careful when you get up close to sniff the lovely fragrance. My favorite feature, though, is the hips: the large, plump, orangey red fruits that follow the flowers. I always appreciate plants that I can nibble on as I wander through the garden, and the ripe hips are so tasty. There’s not much flesh on them, admittedly, but I find them a nice treat, and then I get the seeds too. You can also remove the seeds from the ripe fruit and dry the flesh for use in winter tea blends.
To be fair, rugosa rose isn’t all sweetness and light. These deciduous shrubs generally reach 4 to 6 feet tall, with very prickly stems, and they can spread by suckers, so you may not have room for even one, and it’s really best to have several for good hip production. Also, this species is also considered invasive in some areas (particularly coastal regions); do some research to see if it’s potentially a problem in your area.
Full sun. Zones 2 or 3 to 9.
Harvested in August through October 2020. At least 20 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.