Rosa johannensis Fernald
Rosa rousseauiorum B.Boivin
Rosa subblanda Rydb.
Rosa williamsii Fernald.
Common Name: Labrador Rose
Rosa blanda is a sparsely prickly, deciduous shrub with erect to arching, sparsely branched stems that usually grow around 100 - 200cm tall. The plant produces suckers, forming thickets of growth[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.
Eastern & Central N. America - Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan to Quebec and Nova Scotia to Colorado, Missouri, West Virginia and Pennsylvania
Thickets, grassy verges, edges of woods, ditches, stream banks, gravelly and sandy flats; at elevations up to 700 metres[
]. Dry to moist, calcareous to neutral rocky slopes, shores etc[
Rosa blanda is a very cold-hardy plant, being able to tolerate temperatures down to around -40°c when fully dormant[
Most Rosa species require a sunny position if they are to flourish and flower well. They prefer a circumneutral pH, succeeding in a range of soil texturess so long as they are moist but well-drained[
Rose species often hybridize freely in the garden with other members of this genus[
]. This species is closely related to Rosa pendulina[
]. Hybridizes in the wild with Rosa woodsii[
Plants are almost unarmed[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The fleshy fruit[
] is used in making jams and can also be dried to make a tea[
]. The red, subglobose to globose, sometimes ellipsoid, urceolate, or pyriform fruit is around 10mm in diameter[
], but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds[
]. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards.
Flowers - raw or cooked. They can be processed into rose water, or used in cakes, sweets, desserts etc[
The seed of roses is generally a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement[
]. Be sure to remove the seed hairs[
A decoction of the fruit has been used in the treatment of itching piles and any other itches[
The skin of the fruit has been used in the treatment of stomach problems and indigestion[
The dried powdered flowers have been used in the treatment of heartburn[
An infusion of the root has been used as a wash for inflamed eyes[
]. The infusion has also been used as an analgesic to treat headaches and lumbago[
The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers[
Rose species in general grow well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins[
]. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation[
]. Roses often grow badly with boxwood[
This species has been used in the United States to breed thornless roses, either as ornamentals or for root-stocks[
Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat[
]. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 - 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 - 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate[
]. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested 'green' (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested[
]. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c[
]. It may take 2 years to germinate[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring[
]. High percentage[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 - 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame[
]. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed[
Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions.
Layering. Takes 12 months[