Best roses for herbal use

lavender_lass(4b)September 3, 2009

I'm new to the forum and would like to know which roses you would recommend for herbal uses. Potpourri, medicinal, teas, cooking anything. I'd like good rose hips and petals for potporri. I've also seen that you can use rose petals in desserts, etc. Would love any ideas!

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Heirloom roses generally are best for the uses you describe. You want fragrant roses. Apothecary rose (Rosa gallica) is terrific. Also, Therese Bugnet, a rugosa rose, has wonderful, fragrant petals. I make rose petal jelly from them every year. For hips, I like the rugosa rose, Alba, or Frau Dagmar Hastrup. The hips on her are Rubenesque! David Austin roses are modern roses that also work well. Damask roses are wonderful for lots of petals.

In addition to rose petal jelly, I've also candied rose petals, made rose conserve, rose hip syrup, rose hip jelly, dried rose petals and hips for tea, made rose beads, etc. I use rose water in cooking. I've made lots of potpourri and sweet bags. I've tinctured rose petals, made rose petal vinegar, rose petal glycerin and rose petal honey.

Jim Long has a book, "How to Eat a Rose". Dover Publications has "Rose Recipes from Olden Times" by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde. It's a lovely book filled with great ideas.

Best of luck on your rose adventure.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 7:18AM
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That sounds great! I've already decided to use Therese Bugnet and Fru Dagmar Hastrup, but wanted to see if any other roses should be included. I've thought about gallicas, but have heard they sucker quite a bit. I think Albas would be nice and some are hardy to zone 3. Do they take any special care?

How wonderful that there are so many ways to use roses. I will check for the books you've recommended. What a great idea for Christmas gifts!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 2:22PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

The Apothecary rose does sucker and is rather wild. It, like other antique roses, doesn't always appreciate pruning. I found that out the hard way. It produces lots of flowers, hips, and substantial thorns. It grew well for me for 6 years and then decided not to come back this spring. If you have a smaller space, I would not choose this rose.

Rugosa "Alba" doesn't need any special care. Little to no pruning. I generally mulch my roses with fallen leaves so plentiful late fall. Don't locate them in a poor drainage place. And as far as general care, I'm sure google can offer up reams of well written rose care guides.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 9:49AM
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ALL the roses I mention sucker quite prolifically. But, the apothecary rose not near as much as Therese or Frau. I don't do anything to my roses to get them to winter over. These are hardy enough that I don't have to worry about it. I'm zone 5 at 1200 feet, and we get a few days of -15 and slightly colder. Prolonged times of zero and colder. But, we also usually have a nice snow cover.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 8:09AM
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i use the ones I collect hips from in the mountains wild for teas and jam. They have the best flavor after the first frost.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 5:05PM
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