Reply To: Foraging 8: Roses

Home Forums Foraging Forum Foraging 8: Roses Reply To: Foraging 8: Roses

Malina Tran

Apothecary’s Rose (Rose gallica ‘Officinalis’),and%20skin%20problems%5B238%5D

AKA: apothecary’s rose, crimson damask rose, red rose of Lancaster, French rose

Edible uses: Petals can be consumed raw or cooked. They can be salad garnishes, preserved in syrup, or dried and used as flavoring in tea, beverages, cakes. Rosewater is used as flavoring in various confections.

Medicinal uses:
* Commonly used in medieval gardens and harvested for perfume and rose oil. Essential oil was used to massage and provide relief to sore limbs.
* Petals used (internally) for colds, bronchial infections, gastritis, diarrhea, depression, lethargy and (externally) for eye infections, sore throats, minor injuries, skin problems

* Petals are antibacterial, astringent, and tonic
* Fruit is rich in vitamins A, C, E, flavonoids, and good source of essential fatty acids
* Rose oil has been used in aromatherapy to counter depression, anxiety, and relieve pain (this study interestingly shows that R. officinalis being administered to mice actually led them to being less affected by stress and stayed more active than untreated mice:

Description & growing condition:
It is a low-branching deciduous shrub with deep pink or magenta flowers; the plant thrives on well drained soil in full sun to semi-shade and can survive temperatures down to -25 °C.


Rosa mundi (Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’) has the same properties as R. officinalis. However, it is candy-striped, with pink petals and white or lighter pink stripes. It was first described in 1583, Rosa Mundi is said to be named after Rosamund, mistress of Henry II. It underwent a natural color mutation to produce the striped rose.


Roses have a wide range of culinary and medicinal uses as described above. As I understand it, their rose hips can also be left as berries for birds to consume, especially during the colder months. I do really enjoy their sweet scent and have used/consumed rosewater in face sprays and in Persian cuisine (ice cream is a great one!) I have yet to taste the petals raw or personally harvest them and do anything interesting with them!