Rugosas with reliable Hip formation?....and jam....

The following is a list of rugosas offered by a certain wholesale grower in Ontario. I have little experience with rugosas, so can you tell me which ones are reliable for setting good hip with another variety?

Are any of these capable of selfing followed by hip?

For those experienced making rose jam, which varieties are best suited for this purpose?


Belle Poitevine

Jens Munk

Blanc de Coubert

Blanc Double de Coubert

Charles Albanel

Henry Hudson

David Thompson

Sir Thomas Lipton

F.J. Grootendorst

Pink Grootendorst


Linda Campbell

Theresa Bugnet


Roseraie de l’Hay

Martin Frobisher

Pink Pavement

Purple Pavement

Scarlet Pavement

Snow Pavement

Topaz Jewel


Food products made from rose hips is a subject that interests me very much. While breeding work in this respect has been done in Europe, virtually nothing has been done in North America. It is a deplorable situation, since several of our native species have a lot of potential in this regard. On the Canadian Prairies, for example, Rosa woodsii is very productive of hips. A breeding program with this species and Rosa rugosa could maintain cold hardiness, increase productivity, improve ratio of flesh/seeds and perhaps also increase the Vitamin C content found in Rosa rugosa. It is likely the ‘Carlos Dawn’ and ‘Lac La Nonne’ cultivars are hybrids of Rosa rugosa cultivars and Rosa woodsii. They are relatively productive of hips.

The best Rugosas for hips are the species (Rosa rugosa alba,R.rugosa rubra) and cultivars selected from the species, including those that have sported from single or semi-double to double flowers (eg., ‘Hansa’). Also, cultivars that have been hybridized from pure Rugosa cultivars (eg., the Pavement Rugosas). ‘Mont Blanc’, ‘Monte Cassino’ and ‘Monte Rosa’, while they are productive of hips, appear to be not pure Rugosa and I’m not sure of the flavour of the hips.

The following cultivars are productive of hips and would make excellent jam/jelly.

‘Belle Poitevine’

‘Dart’s Dash’


‘Fru Dagmar Hastrup’


‘Moje Hammarberg’


‘Schneezwerg’ (productive but hips are small)

‘Jens Munk’ can be productive of hips, but they are only medium size and I don’t know their culinary quality. The only other Explorer cultivar that would have potential is ‘Charles Albanel’. I should qualify that. ‘Ottawa’ is productive of hips but it is nearly impossible to obtain. It is a selection of the species native to Japan.

You and I have had a discussion regarding Rugosas self-pollinating. No question that some Rugosa material can self-pollinate to some degree. Much more research needs to be done to determine self-pollination of particular cultivars. In my opinion, for example, ‘Schneezwerg’ can. But then it is not a pure Rugosa.

I used ‘Scabrosa’ for crosses this season and it accepted a lot of different pollens (even ‘Peace’ - I have about 30 ‘Scabrosa’ x ‘Peace’ seeds about to go into the fridge here), and produced a large number of seeds. One hip I picked produced around 90 seeds by itself and… knowing that it could be made into jam and eaten etc once I got the seeds out… I ate the hips LOL and they were goooooood. I left them on the bush until they were nice and soft and red and they were quite sweet… I really enjoyed it. One thing I found, however, was that it set very few OP hips. I think I would use R. rugosa alba if I wanted to produce hips for eating. I have ‘Anne Endt’ and it formed OP hips this year too but they are quite small.

My postman asked if he could pick my R. rugosa alba/ R. rugosa ‘sandy’ hips, several years back, and brought me a jar of jam from it.

None is better for large, meaty hips than select forms of the species, including R. rugosa alba, R. rugosa rubra, and ‘Scabrosa’.

I’ve made jam from Rugosa rubra and alba. It is great tasting although the color could use some red rose petals added.

I live at 1100’ in East Tennessee and the Rugosa sp. have just finished their first blooming. This unfortunately corresponds to the beginning of our dry season (maybe not this year) so that big fleshy hips don’t happen every year. These hips mature midsummer (when it’s really hot in the kitchen) and they mature fast. A number of years I’ve missed the first crop.

The second crop usually matures in mid fall and that’s a much easier time to make jelly.

The most productive alba I’ve ever seen was growing on a sandy bar of Flat Creek (aptly named) and the bush loved the flowing ground water over its roots. It also was loaded with hips that were big. Mine isn’t on irrigation and lives in red clay. Hips are often smaller on mine and not the size to use a melon baller on to get the fuzzy part out of the center.