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Wild Rose

Wild Rose

Rosa species


This shrub grows 60 centimeters to 2.5 meters high. It has alternate leaves and sharp prickles. Its flowers may be red, pink, or yellow. Its fruit, called rose hip, stays on the shrub year-round.

Habitat and Distribution

Look for wild roses in dry fields and open woods throughout the Northern Hemisphere.

Edible Parts

The flowers and buds are edible raw or boiled. In an emergency, you can peel and eat the young shoots. You can boil fresh, young leaves in water to make a tea. After the flower petals fall, eat the rose hips; the pulp is highly nutritious and an excellent source of vitamin C. Crush or grind dried rose hips to make flour.


Eat only the outer portion of the fruit as the seeds of some species are quite prickly and can cause internal distress.

Steve's notes:

You can eat rose petals as well. Throw them on a salad or just eat them for a snack. You can make tea with them as well.

Wild roses can vary greatly in the size and taste of their rose hips, but all are far richer in vitamin C than oranges. The seeds also have a lot of vitamin E. Sometimes the seeds are soft enough to chew up with the fruit; otherwise just spit them out.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Wild Rose