By Jacques Ferare
In part 1 of my blog on rose hips, I talked about how rose hips can be a vital source of winter food for birds, and also how people can use them in their everyday diets. Today, I will share with you a few roses that set a significant amount of hips.
Most roses will set hips. Some will set only very few, like most modern hybrid teas and most florist roses, because they are almost sterile and therefore bear very few seeds. Some others, like most hybrid Rugosas, are known for their quality and number of hips. More recently, as mentioned above, the rose breeders have developed series of cut roses with long stems and lots of colorful hips for the cut flower trade.
For us at Star® Roses and Plants/Conard-Pyle, selecting roses with a great set of hips can be a mixed bag, since, in most cases, setting hips means the end of the flowering cycle for the year, and you don’t want that to happen too early in the season. But is can be a big plus, especially for the hardy climbers and landscape shrubs, where we are looking for all-season color. Since Knock Out® Roses do not generally set a lot of hips (except may be for Rainbow Knock Out® and Sunny Knock Out®), here is a short list of our most showy roses in the winter: