Rose Hips – Identification

Q: I moved into a home with some existing rose bushes. One of them has several marble sized orange-red ball things on it. Can you tell me what they are?

A: You’re seeing the rose seedpods, known as “hips”. You might have seen “rose hip tea” at some point in your life. As the name implies, a tea that’s high in Vitamin C can be made from rose hips.

Most folks enjoy seeing the hips on their roses in fall and early winter but they usually shrivel and become unattractive in late winter. They become food for birds at that point.

If you don’t like the appearance on your roses, clip the stems 12 inches below the hips and make a bouquet of them to hang from a nearby tree branch for the birds to find.

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