FWD 2 Virtual Tour: rose

There are approximately 150 species of semi-evergreen and deciduous shrubs and climbers in the genus Rosa that have been used since ancient times in perfume, cosmetics and medicine. The old roses, or antiques, which are sometimes hybrids but are not grafted, are usually fragrant and have fewer disease and pest problems than the grafted roses which are developed for their big, long-lasting flowers. The one shown above, a Polyantha called Climbing Pinkie, blooms almost year-round.

Rose essential oil is made from both the petals and the leaves and is quite expensive as it takes close to a ton of petals to make 1/3 quart of oil. Hence the common use of synthetic rose oil in many commercial products. Rose petals are also crystallized and used as a dessert condiment, as well as in jams and syrups. The fruit, or hip, is high in vitamin C and is used to make jams, jellies, syrups and teas.

The rose hips of Rosa rugosa, shown above and below, are especially high in vitamin C and are frequently used in commercial products.