While Hubby was having his second cup of coffee I decided to pick a few rosehips. Rosehips are the fruit of the rose. Now, some roses have larger hips than others. Some have round hips, some have oblong, some have large and some have small. I grow wild dog roses for their high Vitamin C content (most wild varieties contain higher amounts of Vitamin C); but I also have a boatload of Golden Showers roses, as you have seen on the Pictures Page that are growing alongside my house. The only way you can have rosehips is if you do NOT cut the flower. If you cut the flower then the plant has no way to bear fruit. As I've said before the rosehip is the fruit and the seed are inside the fruit. The best time to pick your rosehips is after the first frost due to the development of sugars in the hips. They will be slightly sweeter than the ones I picked this morning but to be honest they are all fairly tart. The rose hips I have are considered medium in size and turn a bright orange-red and they are turning right now so I decided to grab a few and walk you through the process of harvesting rosehips. I took my small bowl of hips into the house and heated up some boiling water. I put the hips in a pasta strainer and poured boiling water over them to make sure any possible bugs were taken care of and then I rinsed with cold water and laid them out on a paper towel to dry. I then took five rosehips and as you can see below tried show you how I cleaned them.
If you are desiring to use them in tea, which I do a lot, you don't have to cut them open if they look like a really good, whole, and unblemished rosehips; but if there are bug-type spots on them I just suggest cutting off each end and then slicing them in half and looking them over just for good measure. I've read in older books that you do not have to deseed them for tea but then others say that the seed has little hairs on them that are somewhat irritating so whether I make tea with them or not I just go ahead and deseed them to err on the side of caution. Yes, harvesting rosehips is time consuming and labor intensive but they are an excellent food source and are extremely good for you. I generally have 2 bags in the freezer, one bag with chopped rosehips and one with rosehip quarters and halves (for teas). I also dry a bag of chopped rosehips for mixing in my dried tea blends. Give the whole concept some thought. There are multiple ways to use them and . . . good luck!!
* FYI - 3 rosehips contain the same amount of Vitamin C that is contained in 1 medium orange.