rose hips without inner hair?

Hello everyone,
I have a Rosa canina and I “discovered” that it makes very tasty hips. For me roses were simple decorative plants (and for tea) but after trying hips, I cant understand why more work is not done with them regarding edibility. Roses are beautiful looking and I believe could be great edible landscape plants, provided that some of issues can be addressed.
The issue with my plant is that hips are full of annoying hairs. Fruit wall (hypanthium) is not thick and eating it without getting the hairs into mouth is hard. I can live with fruit size and wall thickness, the flavor is there and worth however the hairs are complete spoiler!

Are there species/varieties without those annoying hairs?
Are there varieties out there selected for fruit quality?
Any of you assessing fruit quality as well during breeding programs (e.g. taste, size, lack of hairs, hypanthium thickness…)?

Best, Srdjan

Ralph Moore dabbled with that idea but nothing of note ever came of it. Week’s Roses introduced a Rugosa called Sweet Hips through Gurney Seed and Henry Fields. It is noted for having extremely large, tasty hips. Basye’s Legacy-Commander Gillette-Basye’s Thornless (as they are all the same rose) has fewer fibers than many, but not “none”. It doesn’t produce a great deal of flesh per hip, unfortunately. They seem rather thin in comparison to many. Good luck!

Hi Srdjan!

There has been discussion on this forum in the past about breeding for ediblility. Maybe you can find the discussions if you search. (try using google instead with a search term that includes “”).

I seem to remember someone mentioning Old Blush, maybe due to lack of hairs but I can’t remember.

I’ve been nibbling on the (enormous) hips of the rugosa ‘Scabrosa’ and they are every bit as tasty as an apple, but mushy. A good quantity of the edible flesh relative to other roses.

I love the idea of breeding for edibility, but have too many divergent breeding goals already and I can’t afford, at the moment, to divert energy towards yet another. I’m sure others will have something to say…this is a topic, it seems, that everyone thinks about but nobody aggressively pursues.

Just saw Kim’s response. I think I ordered Tasty Hips this spring but it was cancelled or something.

So some potential avenues:

R. canina x Scabrosa (resulting in 4x canina type with slightly larger hips?)
R. canina x Tasty Hips
Scabrosa or Tasty Hips x R. canina (resulting in a diploid? has rugosa x canina been done?)
Old Blush x Scabrosa or vice versa. Does this make Calocarpa?

I’ll have to check on the hairs in Commander Gillette hips and those of its descendants.


Something of similar wide cross but likely sterile given Svejda’s expirements.

If going that path, Calocarpa, Sydney and Bonvista are probably worth looking at as they are at least fertile so can move forward with them.

Hi everyone, thank you for input.

Sweet Hips is not available in Europe atm (at least I couldn’t find any source during a fast search) :frowning:
Scabrosa sounds good as well and is more available :slight_smile:

Basye’s Legacy-Commander Gillette-Basye’s Thornless has week phenotype in the regard and wouldn’t be my first choice.

I already work with many other species (as hobby) and having many breeding goals on a single project never worked for me. Things get lost while time passes…
Me and my family enjoy many species/vars. of currants, sea buckthorn, goumi, autumn olives, cornelian cherries and many more. None of them being bigger then an average rose hip on decorative roses. Half of roses I know growing locally have fruits bigger then biggest shop bough cherries. I like roses for the look/smell and view fruits as additional interest. As such I don’t aim to have commercial fruit crop but something “extra”. For the additional level of joy, size, yield and alike are secondary. At least for me.
I already have a rose with VERY fine taste but the hairs disturb a lot. If possible, I would like to try and breed for lack of the hairs as main goal. To figure out genetics behind it with close second goal being taste.
However, I couldn’t identify roses with a strong phenotype lacking the hairs and I hope that someone might point me into the right direction.

Anyone growing Old Blush and being able to comment on hairs inside of fruits? Any other var. without hairs in fruits? Roses with any level of ploidy giving fruits but no or very little hairs might be acceptable to consider. Are there such roses already known?

Best, Srdjan

I grow Old Blush, but it’ll be 2 or 3 months before I can harvest any of the hips to check inside.

Apparently Carefree Beauty doesn’t have a lot of hair either from a quick look at older posts on the forum regarding edible hips.

Will be able to comment on Calocarpa (fertile seedling of a rugosa and Old Blush) in a week or two as they are starting to turn red (benefit of rugosa is faster ripening, it’s not even summer yet).

I found the same information about Carefree Beauty. The same post mentions that there are others but I have no experience and search online did not result in anything useful.
Screening Calocarpa seedlings might be a direction to go searching for a plant with large hips and no hairs.

See: Dec Update from TAMU Rose Breeding Program - Rose Hybridizers Association Forum

"The two species which got my attention were Rosa roxburghii and Rosa sterilis. In fact, a major reason I was excited about going to Guizhou was to see their use of Rosa roxburghii as a food product. In this region of China it is cultivated to harvest the mature hips for the production of dried fruit, juice and wine. There are various articles in the literature that tout the health benefits of consuming these products. We were told that they had the vitamin C concentration of kiwi.

Another species which was exciting to see was what they called Rosa sterilis. This is a rose which has seedless hips that have prickles as does R. roxburghii but fewer, larger leaves than R. roxburghii (pictures are posted on Redirecting...). This species, which to me appeared to be a hybrid with R. roxburghii, was found wild in Guizhou province and is seen as an alternative species to use for hip production. We had the opportunity to visit an experimental planting of Rosa sterilis that was managed by the Guizhou Forestry Research Institute. This fruit can also be eaten fresh. It had a crunchy texture and an acid sweet flavor. Thus far, preliminary observations indicate these plants are several fold more productive than the traditional Rosa roxburghii. This and the seedless nature of this species which should make processing much easier, bode well for its future use in hip production."

I checked one of the Calocarpa hips. Very little hair, more like a very light fuzz inside, easy to scrape out. A lot of seeds though (30 - 40 range).

The very low hair is possible evidence toward Old Blush…will check that when possible.

Oooo you made my day :smiley: I’m very happy to hear that!

Anyone knows where is it possible to buy seeds from Carefree Beauty, Old Blush and/or Rosa x calocarpa? I couldn’t fine anything online atm. Anyone saved some this year and willing to share/sell? Anyone growing them and having few hips still holding on bushes?

A bit unrelated question. If I’m interested in a rose with broad crossablity (easily crosses with large number of other Rose species) and being self incompatible (self-sterile). What would be a good candidate to look into?
While looking through the forum Rosa foliolosa seams as a good match. Any other suggestion/candidate?

How common are parthenocarpic rose fruits in collections?
It is very rare that they are even mentioned online. E.g. R. sterilis or 2 accessions of R. foetida (PDF) Fruit characteristics of some selected promising rose hip (Rosa spp.) genotypes from Van region of Turkey | Funda Çelik -
have a look at Table 2 Flesh Ratio
Any other?