Rose hips are the seed bearing fruit of rose plants. Also known as rose haws or rose heps, these fruit form once a flower fades and tend to ripen in late summer or early fall.
- Ally Head Gardener @ Boreal Bloom
Rose hips contain tons of Vitamin C!! Some sources even claim that rose hips have more Vitamin C than oranges. Unfortunately, much of the vitamin is lost during the drying process.
All types of roses make hips. BUT some are smaller, some are larger, some are tasty, some are not. Rose hips only form once the flower has been pollinated and drops, but a stem that has been deadheaded will not produce a rose hip.
The best time to harvest rose hips is after the first frost for a sweeter flavor. But if you're harvesting for herbal use versus food, they can be harvested whenever they are plump and juicy. Ripe hips yield to gentle tug.
Rose hips can even be eaten raw, though it's important to take care to avoid eating too many raw rose hips as it can cause diarrhea and irritation to the digestive tract. The seeds and tiny hairs within the rose hips should be scraped out as they can also cause irritation because they aren't broken down during the digestion process
They can be prepared for use in edible recipes like – rose hip syrup – rose hip and rhubarb jam – rose hip jelly – rose hip vinegar – rose hip ketchup