Botanical name : Rosa canina
Common names : Wild Rose Flower, Dog Rose,
Physical appearance : Normally a tall, robust shrub growing to between 1 - 3 metres in height. It has hooked prickles which allows it to climb. Its leaves are toothed and its flowers are large and white/pink in colour. The flowers consist of five petals. Wild Rose has a more subtle rose fragrance compared cultivated varieties.
Edible parts : The petals are edible and are best picked when fully opened and mature. The rose hips can also be used to make teas and infusions.
Best places to find : Frequently found on scrubland, sandy areas, waste land and in hedges.
Time of year : Best gathered towards the end of July (UK).
Serving suggestions : The petals can be added to salads in their raw state, which provides a nice floral bouquet on the palate. The petals can also be used in a variety of other ways including : making rose water, rose vinegar, flavouring jams and sweets, flavouring alcohol, making rose wine, rose tea and more. The rose hips can also be used as flavouring or to make tea infusions or similar.
Other uses : Great source of vitamins C, particularly in winter where sources of Vitamin C are particularly scarce.
NB - Please be sure you know what you are picking. Many plants look similar to one another and many can be poisonous! Please seek professional instruction if you are unsure! Don't risk your life!!!
Photos courtesy of Roberta F. via Creative Commons Attribution