History: Rosa canina, or dog rose, is a climbing rose native to parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Dog roses have long been an important part of European culture where they have been used medicinally for centuries and are featured in numerous works of literature such as poems and Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream. Hidelsheim Cathedral in Germany houses the Thousand Year Rose which is a dog rose believed to have been planted when the cathedral was founded in 810. Although it may not be that old, it has been documented growing there for at least 400 years and even survived when the cathedral was bombed during WW2.
Why We Grow It: Along with its storied past, dog roses produce lovely pale pink flowers that help to attract pollinators. The rosehips they produce, small seedy 'berries,' are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. They can be used to make a variety of things such as teas, wines, jams, and jellies. The petals of the flowers can also be added to salads, candied, or turned into syrup.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4
Soil Preference: Prefers moist but well-drained soils, but is tolerant of many types of soils and conditions
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Grows anywhere from 3-15ft tall and wide, climbing rose. Somewhat pest and disease resistant but somewhat susceptible to rose rust and mildew.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily) is preferable but will tolerate partial shade
Flowering Time: June to August
Ripens: September to November (rosehips)
Storage: Dried rosehips can last several months to a year
Recommended Use: Preserves, tea, fresh eating (petals)
Size not including roots: 15cm one year seedling