, and theflower of this shrub. There aremore than a hundredspeciesof wild roses, all from thenorthern hemisphereand mostlyfromtemperateregions. The species form a group of generally pricklyshrubsor climbers,and sometimes trailing plants, reaching 2–5metrestall, rarely reaching as highas 20 metres by climbing over other plants.
).Rose hipsare sometimes eaten, mainly for their vitamin C content. They are usually pressed and filtered to make rose-hip syrup, as the fine hairs surrounding the seeds areunpleasant to eat (resemblingitching powder ). They can also be used to make herbaltea, jam, jellyandmarmalade.
hipsTheleavesof most species are 5–15centimetreslong, pinnate,with (3–) 5–9 (–13)leaflets and basal stipules; the leaflets usually have a serrated margin, and often a fewsmall prickles on the underside of the stem. The vast majority of roses aredeciduous, buta few (particularly in southeastAsia) areevergreenor nearly so.Theflowersof most species roses have five petals, with the exception of
,which often has only four. Each petal is divided into two distinct lobes and are usuallywhite or pink, though in a few species yellow or red. Beneath the petals are five sepals(or in the case of someRosa sericea,four). These may be long enough to be visible whenviewed from above and appear as green points alternating with the rounded petals. Theovary is inferior, developing below the petals and sepals.Theaggregate fruitof the rose is a berry-like structure called arose hip. Rose species that produce open-faced flowers are attractive to pollinating beesand other insects, thus moreapt to produce hips. Many of the domestic cultivars are so tightly petalled that they do not provide access for pollination. The hips of most species are red, but a few (e.g.
) have dark purple to black hips. Each hip comprises an outer fleshy layer,thehypanthium, which contains 5–160 "seeds" (technically dry single-seeded fruitscalledachenes) embedded in a matrix of fine, but stiff, hairs. Rose hips of some species,especially theDog Rose(
), are very rich invitamin C, among the richest sources of any plant. The hips are eaten by fruit-eating birdssuch asthrushesandwaxwings, which then disperse the seeds in their droppings. Some birds, particularlyfinches, also eat the seeds.While the sharp objects along a rose stem are commonly called "thorns", they are actually prickles — outgrowths of the epidermis (the outer layer of tissue of the stem). Truethorns, as produced by e.g.
, are modified stems, which alwaysoriginate at a node and which have nodes and internodes along the length of the thornitself. Rose prickles are typically sickle-shaped hooks, which aid the rose in hanging ontoother vegetation when growing over it. Some species such as
have densely packed straight spines, probably an adaptation to reduce browsing by animals, but also possibly an adaptation to trap wind-blownsandand so