As autumn is pretty much here, this article is the first in an occasional series dealing with autumn fruits and fungi as they become available. This article deals with the first of the autumn fruit, the Rugosa rose hip.
The Rugosa Rose, Rosa rugosa (also known as the Japanese Rose, Ramanas Rose, Beach Tomato, Sea Tomato, Saltspray Rose and Beach Rose) is a deciduous shrubby rose species originally native to eastern Asia, (particularly northeastern China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Siberia), where it grows on the coast, often on sand dunes. Due to its tolerance for salty conditions and its ability to stabilize sand dunes it has been transported and introduced worldwide.
This hardy rose species has been introduced to many British coastal and city areas. Though much larger and robust in all aspects than the native British Dog Rose (Rosa canina) the rugosa rose's hips and flower petals are edible and can be prepared in the same way as dog rose petals and hips.
However, the much larger hips of the rugosa rose are much softer than those of the dog rose. They are in peak condition right now, when the dog rose hips are not quite completely ripe yet. So, this weekend, if you have rugosa rose bushes near you why not go out to pick rose hips.
You can find suggestions for recipes for them on the Celtnet Rugosa rose information and recipes page. You can also substitute them for the recipes on the Celtnet Dog Rose Information and Recipes page.
All rose hips are very high in Vitamin C and they were collected to make cordials during the Second World War.
But to get you started, here is a new recipe for a Rose Hip Leather:
Rugosa Rose Hip Leather Recipe
For all the wild food recipes on this blog, see the wild food recipes page.
Find more British recipes on the Recipes from the British Isles page of this blog.