Rosa Canina, commonly known as the dog rose, is a one of the most widespread wild roses in Europe, northwest Africa, and western Asia.
This climbing plant grows 3 to 16 feet tall, or sometimes even more as it can scramble higher on taller trees.
The name dog rose (bot. Rosa Canina) comes from the belief in the 18th century that it was effective in the treatment of rabid dogs. Another reason given is that the term ‘dog’ has a negative meaning, and as many people thought this plant was inferior to garden roses they called it a dog rose. I don’t really agree with this explanation – dog roses are as beautiful and as soft as garden roses.
The dog-rose is a deciduous shrub that has medicinal uses: the petals, rose hips and galls are astringent, diuretic, laxative, ophthalmic and a tonic. The syrup made from rose hips is taken internally for the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhea and gastritis.
The Dog-rose usually grows up to three metres high. It can stretch that little bit taller with some help! Its sharp spines can grip onto a tree for support.
The dog-rose has oval leaves with jagged edges. The leaves have a sweet scent when rubbed.
Its white or pink flowers open out from June to July and have a light scent which is loved by bees, butterflies and other insects.
Red egg-shaped fruits grow from October to November. These are called ‘hips’. They are a very important food for birds during the winter and also often used for medicinal purposes.
Did you know that dog-rose hips have lots of vitamin C? They are used to make tea and syrup.
Here are my photos of white and pink dog rose flowers.