This weeks Wildcrafting Wednesday presents this delicate little flower that grows abundantly in many places all over the U.S. and is revered for not only its lovely scent, but the medicine that the plant provides. Though prickly thorns surround this plant, its soft but strong nature medicinally will leave you feeling sweet, as she is a symbol of beauty, love, protection, and grace.
Not to be confused with ornamental roses, the rose hips of this plant can be harvested and eaten. They are rich in vitamin C, and other nutrients, and are very astringent to the system, helping to tighten and tonify inflamed tissue. Just be sure to remove those seed as they have little hairs that will irritate you on the way down! The leaves of the flower have long been used in skin care products as it helps to tighten inflamed blood vessels. These are just a couple of the wonderful things rose does!
Typically, you will find this member of the rosacea family in wooded areas. From dry to moist conditions this plant has easily adapted itself to the many regions it resides, but often will be in shaded areas. You can tell this plant due to its five pink petals that surround the abundant yellow stamens, and the plant contains many spines. During the fall the hips are easily identifiable and reside below the flower. Looking at the leaves you will see that they are “toothed” leaflets with rounded tips.
Harvest flowers during bloom in early summer, and the rose hips in the fall through the winter. They are particularly potent after a frost! Steep as a tea, infuse in honey or butter, make rose water, or let sit in some jojoba oil to make a facial serum!