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Rosa rugosa - Thunb.                
Common Name Ramanas Rose, Rugosa rose
Family Rosaceae
Synonyms R. ferox.
Known Hazards There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.
Habitats Sandy sea shores[58].
Range E. Asia - N. China, Japan, Korea. Naturalized in several places in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun


Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Rosa rugosa is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Rosa rugosa Ramanas Rose, Rugosa rose

Rosa rugosa Ramanas Rose, Rugosa rose
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Fruit;  Seed;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Tea.

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 62]. They are very sweet and pleasant to eat, though it takes quite a bit of patience to eat any quantity[K]. The fruit is a fairly large size for a rose with a relatively thick layer of flesh[K]. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter[200]. Rich in vitamin C[3, 14], containing up to 2.75% dry weight[74]. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. Flowers - raw or cooked[183]. An aromatic flavour, they are also used in jellies and preserves[74, 183]. Remove the bitter white base of the petals before using them. Young shoots - cooked and used as a potherb[183]. Harvested as they come through the ground in spring and are still tender. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground into a powder and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement[102, 183]. Be sure to remove the seed hairs[102]. A pleasant tasting fruity-flavoured tea is made from the fruit, it is rich in vitamin C[21]. A tea is also made from the leaves[218].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Cancer;  Hepatic.

The leaves are used in the treatment of fevers[218]. The flowers act on the spleen and liver, promoting blood circulation[147, 218]. They are used internally in the treatment of poor appetite and digestion, and menstrual complaints arising from constrained liver energy[238]. The root is used in the treatment of coughs[218]. 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[214].
Other Uses
Hedge;  Hedge.

The plant makes a good low hedge[1, 29]. It is very tolerant of maritime exposure, but is very bare in winter[K].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a light well-drained soil but succeeds in most soils including dry ones[11, 14, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[200]. Prefers a circumneutral soil and a sunny position[200]. Dislikes water-logged soils[200]. Tolerates maritime exposure[14, K]. Plants are said to withstand temperatures down to -50°c without damage[160]. The foliage is said to resist disease[11]. A very ornamental plant[1], it suckers freely but these are fairly easily controlled[K]. There are a number of named varieties[11]. 'Scabrosa' is said to be larger in all its parts, including the fruit[200], though it has not proved to be much larger with us[K]. The flowers have a clove-like perfume[245]. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins[18, 20]. Dislikes boxwood[18]. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation[18, 20]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[80]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat[80]. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 - 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 - 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate[80]. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested 'green' (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested[80]. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c[200]. It may take 2 years to germinate[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring[78]. High percentage[78]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 - 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame[78, 200]. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed[78]. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months[11].
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[3]Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit.
A very readable book with information on about 100 species that can be grown in Britain (some in greenhouses) and details on how to grow and use them.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[14]Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs.
A good herbal.
[18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
[20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Fairly good.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[29]Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens.
A small but informative booklet giving details of all the hedging plants being grown in the R.H.S. gardens at Wisley in Surrey.
[58]Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation)
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
[62]Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants.
Very readable.
[74]Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR.
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[80]McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed.
Does not deal with many species but it is very comprehensive on those that it does cover. Not for casual reading.
[102]Kavasch. B. Native Harvests.
Another guide to the wild foods of America.
[147]? A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
[160]Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987.
Fascinating reading, this is an annual publication. Some reports do seem somewhat exaggerated though.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[214]Matthews. V. The New Plantsman. Volume 1, 1994.
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Himalayacalamus hookerianus, hardy Euphorbias and an excellent article on Hippophae spp.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.

Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Lisa Risen Wed Jun 27 19:01:22 2001
I work for a large park system and am searching in vain to locate a source for this plant. Help.
Elizabeth H.
Fri Jul 6 17:01:58 2001
To Lisa Risen: Please see my follow up comment under 'Locating Rosa Rugosa'.
Elizabeth H.
c.roberts Thu Feb 28 21:30:56 2002
I have found a rugosa at Jung seed co. 335 s. High St. Randolph, WI 53957-0001. It is a white variety named 'Henry Hudson'. I have grown a pink variety in St. Louis, MO. It does extremely well here.
Elizabeth H.
c.a.roberts Sat May 18 01:57:34 2002
This plant is found in my home province of Newfoundland and is very plentiful on the Avalon Peninsula,where I live....It's fragrance is lovely and it is very versatile.........both as a shrub and a hedge.......although, as a hedge......take care, because of the thorns.
Elizabeth H.
Julia Thu Aug 14 20:51:45 2003
Where can I learn more about germinating seeds? We hardly get below 0 in my state. Please help!


Elizabeth H.
Tue Oct 21 18:04:05 2003
I live in Northern Ca (behind the Redwood Curtain). We are right on the coast and wild rugosa's flourish here. The best resource on varieties, history, availability and where to buy is Suzanne Verrier's book "Rosa Rugosa". Stunning photographs of flower, hips, foilage are on nearly every page. There is an excellent chart in the back for available rugosa plants, telling all you need to know from size, foilage, blossom color, blossom size, recurrent, fragrant, hardy, disease resistant, and hips. There is also organic gardening tips for pest control! The ISBN on this book is 0-913643-07-6, Amazon has it new and used. Check it out! (I borrowed my copy from library, and now intend to buy my own copy)
Elizabeth H.
Todor Thu Aug 5 10:40:57 2004
I need more info on planting rosa rugosa. what is the best time to do that? is November OK? thanks for your help. i appreciate it.
Elizabeth H.
Todor Thu Aug 5 10:40:57 2004
I need more info on planting rosa rugosa. what is the best time to do that? is November OK? thanks for your help. i appreciate it.
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