November 10, 2020

Fall Foraging: Rose Hips

We have wild roses everywhere. In some ways they are a nuisance, but they are also useful, so over the years we've thinned them out. I still have several areas, however, where I gather rose hips.

The wild rose hips are tedious to gather because they are so small. It takes a while to get a worthwhile amount.

Over the course of several weeks I was able to gather and dry a pound. A quart jar holds them nicely and looks pretty on a kitchen shelf.

Occasionally, I make tea. 

Crush gently.

Simmer a tablespoon in a pint of water for 10 minutes.

Very tasty with a drizzle of honey.

Rose hips are traditionally used in cough remedies or to treat diarrhea. And of course they are rich in vitamin C. I also feed them to the goats!

I have some rugosa roses too, but they've been taken over by honeysuckle and Virginia creeper. Hopefully, this winter I can rescue them. 

Anyone else collect rose hips?


  1. Those are a precious commodity, Leigh! When we were kids, we would gather them on the ranch, but I have not picked them as an adult. Brought back a lot of fond memories reading your post today, so I thank you for that! Weather here on the ridge has been terrific for walking in the woods, so a closer look might be in order! Get a perfect week!

  2. Wyomingheart, I hope you find some on your walks through the woods!

  3. We have wild roses growing on the property, but I've never looked too closely at them. I will be checking them today for the rose hips. Thank you for the idea!

  4. I do, I do! LOL Think how much suffering and death your qt of rose hips could of prevented from scurvy for sailors in days long ago.

  5. Daisy, if you get some nice plump hips, you can make jelly!

    Jo, very true. But it seems like they didn't know about them back then. Or maybe they weren't available(?).

  6. I never knew roses had "hips". I guess that is because I haven't been exposed to wild roses much.

  7. I do not have any wild roses on my property. However I learned many many years ago from my vet who brought me up that rose bushes are the litmus test for sick goats. They are all time favorite snack food. And if you have a goat that is not doing well and will not eat roses you’ve got a pretty sick goat. So I’ve always had rosebushes on the property I’ve lived on . And on our recent magical mystery tour of three farms in 12 years now four I have always planted a rosebush if there were none.

    And I do feed them to the goats even when they’re not sick and I’ve never gotten enough to do rose hip tea with but I’m thinking that perhaps blended with my lemon balm after I get it dehydrated or before if I’ve got a few I might give it a go round. I hope to have at some point at least a half dozen roses planted but that may not be possible and it will take a while and I don’t know if I’ll ever have enough to make a pound.

    I will trade you one of my resident tarantulas for some rose hips 🙃

  8. I did a little in the past but living in the city they're mostly sprayed by the roads, pretty! I love Red Zinger Tea has tonnes of rose hips

  9. Ed, what I don't recall seeing, are hips of domestic garden roses. Not that I have any, but they just don't seem to be a thing people are into. The wild hips are usually abundant, but the rugosa hips are large. A plus for rose hips!

    Goatldi, I feed random wild rose branches to my goats too. In fact, they've killed a bunch of plants by eating them down. They think they're a real treat.

    If you want some rose hips to try to plant, I'll send you some with no trade required! lol

    1. You don’t want my large creepy crawlers? They are a bit like the troop transport vehicles in the Star Wars movies. I will happily accept your generous offer😊

  10. Nancy, Red Zinger tea! I used to buy that! Yes, very tasty. I don't recall what else went into it, but I'm sure a homemade version would be easy enough.

  11. I am a novice on rose hips, always careful not to eat or drink anything I am not sure about from nature.
    So, can you please help me? Is any rosehip from any roseplant safe to make tea from? Or jam or jelly?
    Love, Marleen

  12. Marleen, hello and welcome! You are very wise to be cautious about eating or drinking randomly foraged items.

    Rose hips are a common ingredient in herb teas and make a fine jelly. I think I've even seen a recipe for rose hip soup somewhere. I believe all are safe, EXCEPT roses that have been sprayed with pesticides or herbcides! Most garden roses are treated to keep them pretty, so in general, I would avoid those. Organically grown or unsprayed should be perfectly fine.

  13. I've made rose hip jam in the past. The hips from your own roses should be fine as long as you (or someone else) have not sprayed them with pesticides etc. The rose petals themselves are also edible...again as long as no one has sprayed them.

  14. Leigh - I never knew what a rose hip was. Those look completely different than what I thought! I had visions of going to rose branches and cutting off some kind of growth like a burl...

  15. I've been keeping an eye on the wild rose bushes around our edges that bloom so fragrantly in spring. They have hips, but whilst waiting for them to ripen, someone always beats me to them!

  16. Helen, thank you for mentioning the rose petals. A slightly different product, but something related and useful. I've always meant to try to make "rose water," which seemed to be a common flavoring once upon a time.

    TB, not something we'd ordinarily notice! I don't know about garden roses, but the wild bushes are quite attractive when their hips are bright red.

    Goatldi, can't say I've ever had a hankering for a pet tarantula! LOL. I'll go pick some and let them dry naturally for you. I'm not sure if the ones that have been several days in the dehydrator will maintain their vitality.

    Rosalea, oh no! I've not seen birds eat them, so I wonder who else ???

  17. Kedves Leigh!
    Már egy ideje olvasom a blogodat, nagyon tetszik.
    A csipkebogyó nagyon hasznos, tele van C-vitaminnal, s más, az egészségre jó hatással lévő vitaminokkal, ásványi anyagokkal. Viszont ha forraljuk, akkor a C-vitamin lebomlik, s nem hasznosul. Ha elfogad egy tanácsot a csipkebogyóval kapcsolatban. Hideg vagy éppen langyos vízbe kell beáztatni, s ázni hagyni 6-8 órát. Ezután le kell szűrni, s a teáját lehet ízesítni mézzel, citrommal. Így megmarad benne a C-vitamin. A megmaradt bogyóból is lehet teát főzni, s ha langyosra hűlt, akkor összekeverni az áztatott lével. Így a többi hasznos anyag is a teába kerül.
    Már én is megszedtem a télére valót. Most szárítom, aszalom, s egész téln lehet belőle készíteni a teát.
    Üdvözlettel: Marika (Magyarországról)

  18. Marika, welcome and thank you! For those of you who don't speak Hungarian, here's an English translation courtesy of Google Translate.

    "Dear Leigh!
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, I really like it.
    Rosehip is very useful, full of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals that have a good effect on health. However, when boiled, vitamin C is broken down and not utilized. If you accept some advice about rosehips. Soak in cold or lukewarm water and leave to soak for 6-8 hours. It should then be filtered and your tea can be flavored with honey and lemon. This keeps vitamin C in it. You can also make tea from the remaining berry, and if it has cooled to lukewarm, it can be mixed with the soaked juice. Thus, the other useful substances also get into the tea.
    I've already picked it up for the winter. Now I dry it, dry it, and you can make tea from it all winter.
    Sincerely, Marika (from Hungary)"

    Yes, I knew that about the vitamin C, but it didn't occur to me to do a soak to extract the rose hip goodness. Excellent idea.

  19. I do a crossword from our daily paper and yesterday, for the first time since I have been doing it, the clue was "Rose Fruit". Thanks to your timely post, I was able to correctly come up with the answer.

  20. Ed, glad to help! I learn a lot from reading. Even things I don't think I'll use often comes in handy.

  21. Leigh, with Red Zinger tea-

    From their website, Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea Caffeine Free Red Zinger® Description: Hibiscus, rosehips, peppermint, west Indian lemon grass, orange peel, natural flavors, lemon myrtle, licorice and wild cherry bark. Great with some honey!

  22. I only collect the rugosa hips now, because I want do de-seed them, which is far easier with the big ones! I collect and scrape them. if I have enough I boil them once in a bit of apple juice or water, blend them, push them through a sieve and add very little sugar. I pour them hot into jars - and use them for jam, chutney etc. bit by bit.we love rosehip jam - and it makes a nice gift, because nobody here ever bothers with collecting:)

  23. Bettina, this winter I need to rescue my rugosa plants! They've been taken over by honeysuckle and Virginia creeper vines and are difficult to get to. I did collect them for a couple of years, but discovered that the pantry moths adore them, so I never actually got to store any. That was before I started vacuum packing things though.

    Thank you for describing how you process your rugosa hips! Very helpful. :)


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