Rose hips from Rosa rugosa (beach rose)
Sweet-briar ssp. complete with persistent sepals at the end of the fully ripened hip, backward pointing thorns and hairs covering the pedicels and fruiting body.

The rose hip or rosehip, also called rose haw and rose hep, is the accessory fruit of the various species of rose plant. It is typically red to orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form after pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through autumn.


Roses are propagated from rose hips by removing the achenes that contain the seeds from the hypanthium (the outer coating) and sowing just beneath the surface of the soil. The seeds can take many months to germinate. Most species require chilling (stratification), with some such as Rosa canina only germinating after two winter chill periods.


Rose hip jam on a bread roll

Rose hips are used in bread and pies, jam, jelly, marmalade, syrup, soup, tea, wine, and other beverages.

Rose hips can be eaten raw, like berries, if care is taken to avoid the hairs inside the fruit. These urticating hairs are used as itching powder.[1]

A few rose species are sometimes grown for the ornamental value of their hips, such as Rosa moyesii, which has prominent, large, red bottle-shaped fruits. Rosa macrophylla 'Master Hugh' has the largest hips of any readily available rose.[2]

Rose hips are commonly used in herbal tea, often blended with hibiscus. An oil is also extracted from the seeds. Rose hip soup, known as nyponsoppa in Swedish, is especially popular in Sweden. Rhodomel, a type of mead, is made with rose hips.

Rose hips can be used to make pálinka, the traditional Hungarian fruit brandy popular in Hungary, Romania, and other countries sharing Austro-Hungarian history. Rose hips are also the central ingredient of cockta, the fruity-tasting national soft drink of Slovenia.

Dried rose hips are also sold for crafts and home fragrance purposes. The Inupiat mix rose hips with wild redcurrant and highbush cranberries and boil them into a syrup.[3]

Nutrients and research

Rose hips under the snow

Wild rose hip fruits are particularly rich in vitamin C, containing 426 mg per 100 g[4] or 0.4% by weight (w/w). RP-HPLC assays of fresh rose hips and several commercially available products revealed a wide range of L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) content, ranging from 0.03 to 1.3%.[5]

Rose hips contain the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene.[6][7] A meta-analysis of human studies examining the potential for rose hip extracts to reduce arthritis pain concluded there was a small effect requiring further analysis of safety and efficacy in clinical trials.[8] Use of rose hips is not considered an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Albert MR (1998). "Novelty shop "itching powder". Australasian Journal of Dermatology. 39 (3): 188–9. doi:10.1111/j.1440-0960.1998.tb01281.x. PMID 9737050. S2CID 9033914.
  2. ^ Rise, Graham (2022). "Hipster roses". The Royal Horticultural Society. Archived from the original on 29 March 2022. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
  3. ^ Jones, Anore, 1983, Nauriat Niginaqtuat=Plants That We Eat, Kotzebue, Alaska. Maniilaq Association Traditional Nutrition Program, page 105
  4. ^ "Rose Hips, wild (Northern Plains Indians) per 100 g". US Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database, Standard Reference Release 28. 2016. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  5. ^ Ziegler SJ (1986). "Fast and Selective Assay of l-Ascorbic Acid in Rose Hips by RP-HPLC Coupled with Electrochemical and/or Spectrophotometric Detection". Planta Medica. 52 (5): 383–7. doi:10.1055/s-2007-969192. PMID 17345347.
  6. ^ Jacoby FC; Wokes F (1944). "Carotene and lycopene in rose hips and other fruit". Biochemical Journal. 38 (3): 279–82. doi:10.1042/bj0380279. PMC 1258081. PMID 16747793.
  7. ^ Horváth, G; Molnár, P; Radó-Turcsi, E; et al. (2012). "Carotenoid composition and in vitro pharmacological activity of rose hips" (PDF). Acta Biochimica Polonica. 59 (1): 129–32. doi:10.18388/abp.2012_2187. PMID 22428123. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-01-03. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
  8. ^ Christensen, R; Bartels, E. M.; Altman, R. D.; Astrup, A; Bliddal, H (2008). "Does the hip powder of Rosa canina (rosehip) reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients?--a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials". Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 16 (9): 965–72. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2008.03.001. PMID 18407528. Archived from the original on 2022-03-31. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
  9. ^ McAlindon, T. E.; Bannuru, R. R.; Sullivan, M. C.; et al. (2014). "OARSI guidelines for the non-surgical management of knee osteoarthritis". Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 22 (3): 363–88. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2014.01.003. PMID 24462672.