Tuesday, June 27

Pretty in Pink

After the blue wildflowers come the pinks--the wild roses and the fireweed. The fireweed isn't blooming enough for good photos yet (although I did see some just starting to bloom during my dog walk last Thursday), but the wild roses are in full bloom.

They're pretty and pink, but if you've ever walked along a wild rose lined trail, you know the very best thing is their perfume. I'm betting many of you have smelled them, since they grow all across the northern hemisphere in the boreal forest, and as far south as New Mexico in North America.

Another good thing about wild roses is that they're edible. For grouse, hares and small rodents, they're an important food source, and some of the bigger guys, like deer and moose, enjoy nibbling on the tender plants as well. The rose hips (or berries) are consumed by bears, rabbits and beavers, and they provide food for the birds in the winter when many other food sources are gone.

Have you ever eaten a rose hip? They taste like a very seedy little apple. You can pick them after the first frost--a touch of frost brings out the sweetness--and use them to make rose hip jelly, which is surprisingly tasty, especially with a little added lemon juice for tartness. And it'll be the prettiest jelly in your pantry, I promise.

The wild rose is also known as the prickly rose, but not by me. Why concentrate on their one negative attribute when they have so many lovely ones?

Previous related posts:
Photo by oldest son. Click on it for a bigger view.

Other recent wildflower posts: A Sparrow's Home has a display of PEI's wild lupines, which come in both blue and pink.

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