Wednesday, October 8

gathering the hips

Rosehips are ready for harvesting when they let you know and/or when the very first frost visits. But don't wait for the frost if you sense they are ready.

If you're gathering for health purposes (for their high Vitamin C and other antioxidant content, as well as maltic acid) then you want them somewhere between orange and deep red. Too light and they're not ready, too dark and they're still usable but have begun to lose their VitC. Pressable (is that a word?) is good, squishy not good. Once they're picked, they begin losing their potency.

I've been told that the dog rose contains the most VitC and that the Rosa rugosa variety makes for the best tasting.

And of course, don't harvest hips where they could have been sprayed.

A very helpful slideshow of rosehip varieties:



  1. I love rose hips. When I was growing up in Boulder, Colorado, we had loads of them growing where we lived, and I can tell you I probably ate my weight in them every autumn!

  2. Love your blog.
    I found you on Kiva Rose's blog on the post regarding acorns!
    Californoa Oaks are very different to the ones I was used in France...Though I've been here for 5 years now, I'm still learning from the local flora.
    I found some wild rosehips recently in the mountains. Small ones...Not enough for some jam but it'd probably make some nice tea ;).

  3. Hi there - glad you've joined the Herbwifery Forum community of bloggers. I've just done an article for the Herb Society on bramble which includes a recipe for rosehip and blackberry syrup which I threw together on Sunday for a talk to a group of elders in sheltered housing I was doing today. They really liked it!

  4. Hi there Denise and Alchemille, nice to see you both.

    Thanks for directing to that recipe Sarah, very nice - I have no blackberries, but I'll adapt it.


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