Rosa rubiginosa seed
Rosa rubiginosa ‘Sweet Briar’
Rosaceae: A compact hedgerow shrub to 3m, upright stems bear short, curved thorns, bristles and glands. Flowers are 2-3cm across, pink; in clusters of up to 3, blooming from June-July, the hips are ovoid, red with persisting sepals, the leaves have a sweet smell when bruised. Native to Britain but only locally common.
The Fruit can be cooked and used in making jellies, they taste is best after been frosted, but be sure to remove thehairs, as these hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested. A pleasant tasting fruity-flavoured is made from the fruit, it is rich in vitamin C, and the seeds are said to be a good source of vitamin E.
The flowers and hips are aperient, astringent and stomachic, an infusion of dried rose petals can be used to treat headaches and dizziness, with honey added the infusion is used as a heart and nerve tonic and a blood purifier, a decoction of the petals is used to treat mouth sores. The seed is rich in vitamin E and an oil extracted from the seed is used externally in the treatment of burns, scars and wrinkles, the fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
Seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and cold stratified for at least 6 weeks at 5°c or below. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate.