Rugosa Rose- Zone 3
Characteristics of the tree
Rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa) is a very hardy and resilient rosebush. It grows as a rounded shrub that grows up to 2 metres in height with a similar spread. Highly adaptable, it grows in almost any soil, including heavy clay soils, and poor and sandy soils – but will not grow in waterlogged areas. It is native to east Asia, where it is often found growing on the seashore. As you might deduce from this, this rose bush is very tolerant to salt, making it suitable for planting in urban areas. It prefers full sun, but can also tolerate semi-shade. Another of its advantages is that it shows very good resistance to most major rose diseases, making it easier than most roses to grow and maintain. It is self-fertile, flowers from June to August, and produces large edible rosehips in the fall.
The rosehips of the rugosa rose are large (about 2.5cm in diameter) and good to eat, with a thicker layer of flesh surrounding the seeds compared to that of most rosehips. They are sweet and can be eaten raw, though this requires some patience as care is needed to avoid the layer of hairs around the seeds in the centre. So far our favourite way to consume them is to cook them into a delicious and aromatic jam. They are also made into herbal teas, and are very high in vitamin C, A and E. They are harvested around September.
It should be noted that the rosehips are not the only edible part of this plant. The flower petals are also edible, and can be used to flavour jellies, to decorate desserts… though our preferred use for them is in a mild and pleasantly perfumed herbal tea. The leaves, fruit and petals are also used for their medicinal properties.
The rose bushes that you buy from us are grown directly from seed, so each one is genetically different. There might be some small variations in the size and taste of the fruit, but it should be largely consistent.
This rose bush grows to form a large bush at a moderate rate, around 5 feet or up to 2 metres in height and spread. This illustration shows a 7-year-old rose bush.
You should note that this illustration is meant only to give a general indication of what you can expect, and the growth of your tree might look somewhat different. The development of a tree depends on the soil type, irrigation, fertilisation and climatic conditions.
What we show here is based on our observation of the growth of the rugosa rose zone 4, in rather poor soil. In a colder climate it might be slower, and in richer soil or warmer climates it might be faster.
All our rose plants are sold bare-root, without pots. They have been cultivated directly in our soil. Bare-root trees must be taken out of the ground and shipped during their period of dormancy, which is why we only ship trees in the spring. A big advantage with these kinds of trees is that they take up very little space, and can therefore be easily shipped by mail all over Canada!
This photograph shows a rose plant of between 1 and 3 feet in height, just like one that you might receive. Depending on the height you choose at the time of purchase, it could also be smaller (below 1 foot).
If you are intending to plant this rose bush, you should know that for all its great qualities, it also tends to sucker and spread around wherever it is planted, and if it is planted in the wild, it can take over and out-competition native species. Planted in a town, or in an area where its spread will be restricted, it is not a problem, but we would suggest considering carefully before planting it in open areas such as riverbanks.