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Another reason to grow roses: for hips.

Choose the right variety and you can harvest beautiful rose "fruits"

THE SECOND SEASON for roses begins when petals fall and hips form. The hips (the plants' fruit) come in a variety of shapes and sizes, commonly between the diameter of a pea and that of a cherry tomato; their bright colors range from yellow to sealing-wax red.

Some florists sell hips for $12 per spray--more than you'd pay for a plant. Order plants now for dormant planting, and you can reap your own harvest of hips by fall.

Allowing hips to form on your roses in fall has another advantage: it encourages early dormancy, so plants reserve energy for next year's growth.

Only some roses--most notably the old-fashioned types--are grown for showy hips. Here are seven that offer a range of hips and growth habits. All have excellent disease resistance and, unless noted, bloom once a year (for about a month) and can handle the West's coldest winters.

Sweet briar (Rosa eglanteria), named for the green-apple fragrance of its foliage, has red, drop-shaped hips with small, glistening hairs that may remind you of sundews. With thorns growing even on its roots, this 12-foot climber makes a fine barrier.

R. kordesii 'Dortmund' bears clusters of 15 to 20 dime-size rusty or bright orange fruits that hold through much of winter. It's striking in arrangements. White-centered single red flowers appear throughout the season, even where summers are very hot. Train this 7- to 12-foot plant along a fence or trellis.

Musk rose (R. moschata) takes its name from its scent. A hybrid musk, 'Kathleen', bears pink, wonderfully fragrant, apple blossom--like flowers repeatedly and can be grown as a shrub or a house-high climber. Grape-size orange hips appear in masses.

R. moyesii has 2-inch red, bottle-shaped hips that form from deep red flowers on a 10-foot shrub; for a smaller shrub, try a three-quarter-size variety like 'Geranium' or 'Sealing Wax'.

Chestnut rose (R. roxburghii) has spiny, round, fragrant, chestnut like flower buds and hips. Peeling bark and double pink flowers are also noteworthy on this 8- to 10-foot shrub.

Rugosa rose (R. rugosa) is also called ramanas rose or sea tomato because its hips look like cherry tomatoes. Among the best: R. r. alba (abundant red hips contrast with yellow fall foliage), R. r. magnifica, and R. r. rubra. Some named varieties with good hips include 'Fru Dagmar Hastrupp' (also called 'Frau Dagmar Hartopp') and 'Blanc Double de Coubert.'

Rugosas are able to thrive in poor soil and have dense thorns that make a good barrier. Most kinds grow to 7 feet or so, but some (R. r. alba and the named varieties above, for example) grow to about 4 feet. All rugosas are repeat bloomers with excellent disease resistance.

R. soulieana produces a profusion of small, red-orange hips on a plant that can reach 12 feet. This is a good choice for arrangements.


Two mail-order sources with a wide selection are Roses of Yesterday and Today, 802 Brown's Valley Rd., Watsonville, Calif. 95076 (catalog $5); and Heirloom Old Garden Roses, 24062 N.E. Riverside Dr, St. Paul, Ore. 97137 (catalog $3).
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:McCausland, Jim
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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