|'High Voltage' rose hips|
|'Morden Centennial' rose hips|
Because they do, you know, make nice natural ornaments in the few days in Manhattan Kansas when the snow falls. Most of them do, anyway. It never seems to work out exactly like I wanted it to. Some roses that I didn't expect to develop hips are reluctant to rebloom and are covered with hips (like 'High Voltage' that I wrote about recently). Others are widely touted to have large, tomato-red hips. The Hybrid Rugosa 'Purple Pavement' is such a rose, but this summer, the large red hips swelled, showed promise, and then shriveled. First, they turned into reddish-orange prunes like the picture at the right, and then they just turned brown and ugly like the picture below. Who really wants to show off a bunch of prun-ey shriveled old hips unless they have no choice?
I don't imagine these dried hips of 'Purple Pavement' would make very good eating, either. I'm aware that rose hips are rich in Vitamin C and were harvested in Britain in WWII to make rose hip syrup as a vitamin supplement for children. Rose hips are also promoted for herbal teas, sauces, soups, jams, and tarts. These days, health experts far and wide are proclaiming the anti-cancer and cardiovascular benefits of the anthocyanins and other phytochemicals contained in rose hips. I ask you, looking at the picture at the left, would you expect any medicinal benefits other than as a purgative? They have even been used to control pain from osteoarthritis in a 2007 Danish study. Maybe so, but I ain't eating them.
For now, I'm quite happy to leave my rose hips for the birds or to let them drop to the ground and occasionally grow more little roses. As long as I don't have to deadhead the bushes. And maybe it is my aberrant "Y" chromosome, but I don't care if you think my hips are big. I think they're beautiful.