Gathering Rosehips and Making Rosehip Tea


| 11/14/2017 10:12:00 AM


 

Did you know you may have a tasty tea that is free for the taking and incredibly nutritious?  Back when I lived in Colorado, it wasn't uncommon to drink herbal teas because we had Celestial Seasons up in Boulder.  Little did I know that I'd be sort of following in their footsteps when I got to Montana and started foraging berries.  One exceptional berry that should be on everyone's list (whether they live in Montana or not) is the rose hip. Rose hips are high in Vitamin C and contain Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

Where the Wild Roses Grow

The rose hip is the seed pod of the species rose or wild rose.  It is oval or round in shape with a red or orange case and an interior that has some fruit pulp and seeds. Species roses grow everywhere, but there are subspecies of roses throughout the United States and Canada. Like the domestic rose, they have thorns and bright flowers (usually pink).  Species roses usually have five petals.

Wild roses grow near water sources, but I've also seen them in fields.  The fruit tastes anywhere from bland to very sweet, fruity with a hint of flowers.  But the floral taste isn't overpowering.  It's a popular food for bears and birds, so when you're picking, be sure to have someone watching out while you pick because you might run into a bear who might not want you gathering his berries.



How to Recognize Rose Hips

Rose hips are easy to recognize because of their color and shape. They have wispy "hairs" at the bottom where the flower dried up.  You'll find them on rose bushes, which have thorns.  Domesticated roses have rose hips, but never use those that have been sprayed with pesticides and other toxic chemicals.  If you aren't sure if you found a rose hip or a rose bush, have someone who knows what rose hips look like help you identify them.  Don't take chances, but rose hips are one of the few fruits that are very obvious.



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