Rose Hip, Rosa sp.


There are a number of wild rose species in the UK, including the Dog Rose, Rosa canina and the Field Rose, Rosa arvensis. Roses are low-growing or climbing shrubs, often thorny, with pretty flowers in a range of colours. All roses, even garden varieties, produce edible hips - red or orange, oblong-to-round, seed pods that develop on the stems after flowering, usually in the Autumn months. These hips are packed with flavour and are used primarily in the kitchen to make teas, syrups, jams and other preserves. Many children know all about hips, as they can be used to create a natural itching powder, primarily due to the presence of tiny hair-like structures on the seeds in the hips that can cause mild irritation. In France, Rose Hips are known as "Bum Scratchers" as eating them with the seeds still inside can result in irritation at the "other end" of the digestive tract! For this reason, the seeds should be removed before using them in any dishes.

Rosehip Checklist


🌳 Deciduous Woodland.
🐑 Grassland, including paddocks, fields and meadows.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🏢 Urban Environments, wasteland, Streets and pavements.


🍂❄️ Sep - Dec


☘️ Most Rose leaves are green, ovate and toothed.


🌷 Most Wild Rose flowers are white to pink with five petals and golden yellow stamens.


🌱 Most Roses have green woody stems with sharp, hooked thorns.

Fruit / Seeds

🍏 Rose hips are red to orange in colour, and round or oval in shape. They are filled with seeds that contain irritable hairs.

Edible Parts

🌷 Flowers
🍏 Hips

Aroma / Taste

👃 Roses usually have a very pleasant, floral aroma.
👅 When cooked or prepared, Rose Hips are taste sweet and sharp. The hairy seeds may cause irritation an so should be removed. The flowers when infused, impart a wonderfully sweet and aromatic flavour.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 Wild Roses tend to be relatively easy to identify, especially when in flower, or in fruit. The pretty, five-petalled flowers, toothed, ovate leaves, and red to orange hips are the key identifiers.
👃 The floral smell of rose flowers is also a key identifier.

⛔️ The hairy seeds inside rose hips can cause irritation if ingested so should be removed before using the hips in recipes.

⛔️ Rose thorns have the ability to pass contaminants such as bacteria into the body via scratches. In rare cases, they can cause serious bacterial infections. For this reason it always advisable to wear protective gloves when gathering flowers or hips.


☕️ Beverage - Hips can be used to make teas or other drinks, particularly cordial and wine.
🧉 Condiment - Hips can be used to make preserves, jams and sauces.
🍨 Sweet - Hips can be used to make desserts, puddings and syrups.