Selected from Apple Rose, Rosa pomifera-villosa, Big Hip has produced the most fruit in the smallest amount of plant. Even small 1 ft tall plants can be packed with fruit. Best in full sun in exposed sites. Thorny, but fruits are at the end of the branches. These plants do not runner or if they do it is very light.
Each plant can grow up to 2-4 ft. tall with side branches extending 2-3 ft. in either direction. Flavor of the flowers and hips is very good much superior than other hips. The hips tend to turn to a paste as they ripen on the plant which is the best time to eat them raw. The flavor far exceeds Rosa rugosa and the yields are at least triple a Rugosa plant. Over time I was planning to select an individual plant that was highest yielding. But as time went on they were all equal high yielding plants with quality fruit and very uniform in production too. As a result the cultivar level was not as practical as all the seedlings were productive. To be sure I further selected the most precocious seedlings in my plantings which flowered and fruited at two years of age. These were put out in my plantings. They appeared to be slightly heavier bearing but not noticeable to a large degree. Flavor is still important and I am selecting for this starting in 2022. Some cultivar level plants will be put on this website as a result of evaluating my seedlings further. As rose hips ripen and begin to get to a soft consistency, the flavor is greatly improved. This occurs about a month or so after the hips 'look' ripe with their normal coloration. The seed casings and the amount of seed is not as important as these are processed out in cooking and straining the fruit. The size of the hip and the amount of flesh is critical. Unlike Rugosa rose, these are much more productive per plant.
To germinate the seeds: Rose seeds have a tough seed coat so normally germination occurs over a period of 1-2 years. Fall planting should be done as early as possible to help with the scarification and stratification of the seeds. Plant 1/8 inch deep. Tamp hard into the soil and lightly mulch. Seeds will sprout usually in the following spring and summer and then again the following year to some extent. Consider them as a two year dormancy period in propagation.
For the indoor method do the usual fridge cold 33-38 F for 60-120 days. Rose seeds sprout in the fridge very easily. Put them in slightly moist pear moss and then refrigerate for 60-120 days. Some sprouting will occur in the fridge. Some seeds will need an additional warm period to sprout fully so then plant outside and they will come up the following year in the spring. Easier to grow outside as the soil bacteria works on the seed coat. Few animals seem to eat the seed once it is in the ground. You can also put it in a propagation tray outside, cover it, and then let them sprout in the tray in the springs ahead. You can then pluck them out and put them in pots.
Seeds have been floated. Harvest starts in mid October.
|Genus & Species||Rosa villosa x pomifera|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile|
|Soil||Sandy loam. Slightly acidic ideal.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Very easy to grow from seed. Once sprouted the plants grow quickly to fruiting size within 2-4 years from seedling. Practical to grow in a variety of locations as even part shade works with this selection. Very healthy fruit easy to use in a variety of ways from dried puree to jam. Selections from cuttings can also be developed from this seed strain. However each seedling is similar in my grow outs and heavy yields are found on all of the plants.|