Agricultural Roses for Hip Production

Anyone know if it’s possible to track down cultivars specifically meant for rosehip production at scale? I am planning to hybridize for hip flavor, size, and quality. I managed to find a seller of Piro 3 after much searching, and Raintree sells a rugosa called Jubilee which appears to have been bred for hips in the USSR during the 70s.

But I’ve recently come across two more that might be interesting:

AP-4: About Rosehip AP-4 – SUKOFlex® Rosehip Powder

Rosa canina “Lito”:

These are proprietary, so it’s probably just not happening for me! But, I thought I’d see if anyone knows how a hobbyist would go about laying hands on these kinds of roses. Good genes for edible hips seem to be pretty uncommon in North America.

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Hello Zach_Weinersmith, this is an interesting breeding approach that has not yet been pursued sufficiently. Perhaps the following publications can help you a little further in this respect.

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Breeding for hip production has been a side project of mine. You might want to look at ‘Sweet Hips’ and ‘Summer Wine’.

Here are photos taken by Mark Wessel of a display of rose hips at the Chantilly flower show in France in 2018.

Chantilly Display, front to back, left to right:

Row 1

  • Unknown
  • Rosa malmudiarensis
  • Rosa pimpinellifolia maxima
  • Rosa lucens Erecta

Row 2

  • Rosa uncinella
  • Rosa mulligani
  • Rosa nutkana
  • Rosa marginata

Row 3

  • Rosa macrantha
  • Rosa therabintinacea (should be Rosa terebeinthinacea?)
  • Rosa orientalis
  • Rosa multiflora adenochaeta
  • Rosa prattii

Row 4

  • Rosa tomentosa x ((Rosa x polliniana)x R. pendulina)
  • Rosa andersonii
  • Rosa palustris
  • Rosa macrantah watziana

Row 5

  • Rosa gigantea
  • Rosa leucantha
  • Rosa roxburghii normalis
  • Rosa davidii ‘Fenja’ (Rosa davidii x Rosa spinosissima)

Row 6

  • Rosa jundzilli
  • Rosa glomerata
  • Hybrid Rosa helenae
  • Rosa nutkana plena
  • Rosa longicuspis

Row 7

  • Rosa arnoldiana ‘Khirghisia’
  • Rosa macrantha ‘Elfenreigen’
  • Rosa canina ‘Kiese’
  • Rosa canina ‘Sydval’
  • Rosa x highdownensis

Row 8

  • Rosa reversa ‘Duftfrucht’
  • Rosa Carolina
  • Rosa magnifica
  • Rosa sweginzowii ‘Macrocarpa’
  • The potted rose in the background with the large, orange hips is ‘Düsterlohe No. 2’.

In Japan, they eat the yellow-colored hips of Rosa roxburghii and recently they’ve introduced to market hips from a discovered hybrid that they’ve named Rosa sterilis . It’s thought to be a hybrid between R . roxburghii and R . longicuspis and the special thing about it is that it produces empty hips, much easier for processing. The photos attached were taken by the Texas A&M Rose Breeding and Genetics Program.

Hope this helps!



Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada researched vitamin C in rose hips in 2000-2012 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and named a successful cultivar.
Here are some links of interest.


Fascinating, Jonathan! Thank you so much for posting that. The putative R. longicuspis x R. roxburghii is something out of left field; it’s interesting that the hip color and spines from the latter parent were transmitted so well, but R. longicuspis parentage does seem very believable from that packaging photo. That cross is screaming to be repeated (with variations). The fragrance of R. roxburghii hips can be heady and appealing, like ripe to overripe pineapple. The double-flowered clone (R. roxburghii f. roxburghii) does produce some hips (usually split or open) and they never seem to contain seeds. Maybe roxburghii parthenocarpy is actually a heritable trait.


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I do not know which species served as the seed parent in that cross because I do not have access to the full article, but from the paper that actually did the genetic analysis they write:

“Our results indicated that R. sterilis originated from the hybridization of R. roxburghii and R. longicuspis.”

Chromosomal-scale genomes of two Rosa species provide insights into genome evolution and ascorbate accumulation

So for now we cannot say that the cross was R. longicuspis x R. roxburghii as it could have been the reciprocal.

Regardless, both directions would be good crosses to make :slight_smile:

That paper was referencing this paper, which DOES state that R. longicuspis was the maternal parent.

“The comprehensive analyzed result shows that R. x sterilis originates in natural hybrid of R. longicuspis and R. roxburghii, and R. longicuspis and R. roxburghii are its maternal parent and paternal parent, respectively.”

Molecular evidence for hybridization origin of Rosa X sterilis ( Rosaceae)

Oh my GOSH, Jwindha this is amazing! For my first year I’m all in on rugosas, and had planned to add primarily canina and roxburghii types next year. This gives me a lot more ideas - I’m especially intrigued by pimpinellifolia maxima.

Do you know if there are any giganteas that can survive in 7b?

Any tips on good stuff I can get in North America? I have a sweet hips and am looking into summer wine. I’m most excited to see what I get from sweet hips x jubilee.

If you’re insistent on using R. gigantea hybrids (something like ‘Belle Portugaise’ or ‘Amber Cloud’) you will need to grow them indoors. However, many of the older modern roses (particularly the hybrid teas) can make very large hips (‘Don Juan’, ‘Peace’, ‘Midas Touch’, etc.) with thicker flesh than the rugosas. Even ‘Knock Out’ will make a decent sized hip.

Keep in mind that hip size alone will not determine marketable success, the hips have to taste good too or at least have significant health benefits. Not to mention that a rose grown for fruit production should ideally be thornless for easier harvesting. A compact form for row-production would be helpful. The fewer petals the better so that pollinators can reach the stigmas with ease. And of course the holy grail would be a rose that didn’t produce the irritating hairs within the hips…