Rugosa Rose or Smooth Rose (Rosa Blanda)


I’d like to plant a wild rose for the purpose of cultivating it’s rose hips. I’ve been reading up on different varieties of roses native to Ontario. I was leaning towards a Rougsa rose because it seems to be more popular for it’s taste and fragrance. However, some of the research I’ve read suggests that it is an invasive species because of how it spreads through runners and by way of how seeds are distributed by birds……causing new plants to shoot up in the wild and take over other native plants. For this reason I was leanding towards Rosa Blanda, and I wanted to know if you had any information on the taste and usefulness of it’s hips.


Thank you for your question.  We have had a similar inquiry about cultivating rose hips.

A previously answered Ask a Master Gardener question on the subject suggested the following:

Rosa Rugosa is resistant to disease including black spot, is hardy, makes an attractive hedge, beautiful and fragrant in flower, abundant in colourful and useful rose hips and fine fall coloured foliage.

Rugosa roses are carefree plants that survive in almost any situation, except boggy soil and have few, if any, of the more cultivated rose problems. The epithet ‘rugosa’ describes the wrinkled or textured surface of the leaves which turn golden to copper in the autumn adding colour to the landscape. In addition to the sweetly smelling large blossoms, when pollinated they develop large oval ‘hips’ which become a rich red and remain on the shrub often throughout the winter, however, they are a favourite treat for birds who may devour them ‘ere winter is over.

Unlike most garden roses, rugosas object to heavy pruning. Rugosas are very hardy down to zone 3.

The “berries” or rose hips are a rich source of Vitamin C and although somewhat tart in flavour are used for rose hip jam, syrup, and tea.


Rosa Blanda or Smooth Rose is a dense-growing bush.  According to the Canadian Wildlife Federation it is native to Ontario , Vibrant pink flowers produce a lovely fragrance in summer.  This rose will grow quickly in part shade to full sun once established.  This rose requires minimal care similar to the Rugosa Rose.  In spring, cut back deadwood but the rose flowers on older stems.  The  red rose hips can be picked in the fall.  The rose hips are high in Vatamin C and antioxidants, and other nutrients such as zinc.  The taste is not overly pleasant.

Either rose would be suitable for your desired use.  Good luck.

More information on native wild roses can be found at the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s website: