Wild About Roses

Cole Harbour Heritage Park and Salt Marsh Trail

A touch of beauty

Wild roses add beauty and colour to roadsides, open woods, prairies and rocky places all across Canada. They may have pink or white flowers, be with or without thorns and stand as high as 2.5 metres.

Wild roses are considered a weed in many agricultural areas, but their scarlet fruit – the rose hips, which remain on the shrub throughout the winter – provide great food value for wildlife. Many birds use the dense foliage for cover and nesting sites.

In pioneering days, and also during World War II, many families relied on rose hips as a valuable source of Vitamin C. They were used in jams, jellies, syrup and juice. At one time, the dried fruits were used as necklace beads.