As if the rose isn’t perfect enough with its exquisite beauty and seductive perfume, this winsome favourite also produces edible fruit, called hips. Throughout history, rose hips have been used in herbal medicines and in many families, a recipe for jelly, jam, soup, syrup and tea.
Along with the hip, even flower of few rose plants can be served. Roses may no longer be a prelude to a romantic dinner date, but the main course itself. They are not just one of the beautiful flowers. Here are few roses that can be transformed into dishes alongside beautifying your garden.
Purple Pavement hybrid rugosa rose
Often recommended as a good plant for hedging, Purple Pavement bears small trusses of fragrant, semi-double purplish-red blooms which in turn produce dark red hips. Bred by Baum in Germany and introduced in 1986, like all members of the series, it’s salt tolerant. Look for Foxi Pavement (deep pink) and Scarlet Pavement, too!
‘Marguerite Hilling’ shrub rose
A sport of Pedro Dot, Spanish rose breeder discovered at Hillings Nursery in UK and introduced in 1959. Considered one of the all-time best shrub roses, it blooms profusely from late spring to autumn, producing almost single, deep pink flowers. Pruning should be confined to removing dead wood.
Old Velvet Gallica rose
It produces semi-double, maroon-purple flowers with prominent and contrasting yellow stamens. Thought to be the rose described by John Gerard in his Herball (1596), it is probably of Italian origin although its parentage is unknown. It is considered one of the best ‘garden plants’ from among the old Gallicas.
‘Madame Knorr’ Portland rose
Introduced by Verdier in France (1855), Madame Knorr produces rather loose, medium-sized semi-double flowers with an exceptionally sweet fragrance. Tolerant of poor soils, the petals are light rose with white undersides and dark centres; some repeat flowering after the main summer flush.
‘Rose de Resht’ Damask rose
Taken to England from Rasht, Iran, by rosarian Nancy Lindsay in 1939, the fully double, purple-fuchsia, highly scented flowers are arranged in tight clusters, with each bloom measuring about four centimetres across. Easy to grow, ‘Rose de Resht’ Damask rose flowers from midsummer to autumn. Protect blooms from hot afternoon sun to avoid bleaching.
Pristine Pavement hybrid rugosa rose
All of the cultivars in the Pavement Series have rugosa roses in their backgrounds and are similar in habit to the Explorer Series (and equally hardy). Pristine Pavement bears semi-double, fragrant, pure white flowers on a disease-resistant plant with a mounding form and shiny foliage. It was bred by Baum in Germany.
‘Roseraie de l’Hay’ rugosa rose
Thought to be a sport of R rugosa ‘Rubra’, Roseraie de l’Hay is the most popular of all the rugosas and was introduced by Cochet-Cochet in France (1901). Repeat flowering, disease resistant and vigorous, it produces large crimson-purple blooms with a scent reminiscent of cloves and honey.
Red Japanese rugosa rose
You plant several of these to divert neighbourhood children from taking a shortcut across your garden. Growing to a height of 2.5 metres, it produces reddish-purple flowers from early summer until autumn, followed by large vermillion hips. It looks fantastic when paired with the pure white blooms of R R ‘Alba’.