Common name Dog rose
Scientific name: Rosa canina
Autumn is the time for collecting berries, including these gorgeous edible rosehips.
The red/orange hips (fruit) of all roses are edible, the species shown are two of the most common locally. The leaves of rose plants are split into 5-7 leaflets and the stems have the typical thorns.
Rosehips contain lots of Vitamin C, probably more than oranges! The flesh of the larger ones is edible straight off the plant, but be careful not to bite into the seed capsule that takes up most of the fruit. Each seed has a little hair attached and these can be very irritating to skin and mucous membranes. The hairs have been used by generations of kids as itching powder! The hips are high in pectin, which makes them useful in jam and jelly making. They combine well with other autumn berries in compotes and autumn pudding.
Rosehip syrup (Darina Allen’s Forgotten Food)
900g fresh rosehips, 2.7litres water, 450g sugar
Bring 1.8 litres of water to the boil. Meanwhile finely chop the rosehips, add to the water and bring back to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to infuse for 15minutes. Strain through a muslin and retain liquid. Put the pulp back into the pan with the remaining water and bring to the boil, infuse and strain as before. Pour all the resulting juice into a clean steel saucepan, reduce uncovered until around 850ml remains. Add the sugar, stir to dissolve and boil for 5mins. Pour the syrup into sterilised glass bottles and screw on caps tightly.