Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Natural Valentines, Day 3


Rosa palustris, or swamp rose (palustris is a common specific epithet given to plants that live in swamps) is a beautiful plant throughout the year. In February, its fruits, also called hips, really stand out. Wickedly rich in vitamin C, I once picked a few of these ripe fruits and brought them into the office. I tore off a bit of flesh and popped it into my mouth. Sure enough, I got an intense tangy flavor, but also a mouthful of prickly seeds! Ouch!

At our office complex here in Columbus, we are fortunate to have a few swamp rose tangles surrounding the environmental education wetland area. They are quite spectacular in early summer when covered with pink blossoms. Swamp rose is found in wet meadows, thickets, swamps, and other wetlands throughout Ohio. If you are botanizing here and see a rose in a wet area, you can bet that what you are seeing is Rosa palustris, another one of our natural plant valentines.

And be sure to check back tomorrow for the final plant in our Valentine's Day series!

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  1. What a perfect "Natural Valentine"! Rose Hips! :-) I can't imagine biting one- but am glad you were able to warn us all away from it. :-)

  2. There was a time when I actually had roses. Lots of roses. I bought lots of bug sprays and millions of Lady Bugs to control the diseases and aphids. I gave up on them. The cost to Nature and my environment wasn't worth them. I call them People Flowers because they are almost totally worthless except to the breeders and to the chemical companies and to the growers. However, having said all that, among them I bought ages ago is one old-fashioned, simple, rose, pink, that does not diseases and does not have aphids and does not require chemicals or fertilizers or anything else. Except last year for the first time in my life I had to pinch off Japanese Beetles.

    And, it gets rose hips.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and to your family.

  3. Hey that one looks like a real heart!!! Pretty neat!
    Nice red color.

  4. Very nice. Thanks for the info! Happy VD to you & yours. :)

  5. Megan-
    They sometimes put rosehips in tea. I'm tempted to try them again!

    Abraham- Roses are beautiful. We have a few in our backyard that were planted by our landlord, but I'm sure that I'm not giving them the care that they need. Someday, I would love to have a swamp rose, a carolina rose, and a prairie rose in my yard. All three native roses that hopefully, wouldn't need much care!

    Thanks Chris, I was wondering who would be the first to point that out!

    Lana- Thank you.

    Adam- Thanks, I'm really enjoying your pics of Cali BTW on your blog.

    Happy Valentines day to everybody!