Bald-Hip Rose

Happy Spring! The weather has been terrific, but may get temperamental just in time for our Open Days on Friday and Saturday. But the greenhouse is a good hangout! Enjoy Lisa’s cookies and poke your nose outside to check out plants like the Bald-Hip Rose.

Bald-Hip Rose (Rosa gymnocarpa) a.k.a. Dwarf Rose, a.k.a. Little Wild Rose has fragrant pink one-inch-wide flowers. This adaptable deciduous wild rose-bush thrives in well-drained soil, in dry to moist conditions. It tolerates full shade to full sun. Grown in bright or dappled shade, it happily produces lots of blooms; its stems tend to get thin and gangly in full shade. It reaches 5’ tall, but can handle being pruned back. Though it is rhizomatous, it does not spread aggressively like its cousin, Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana).

When the flowers fade, the “hips” form, containing seed. The hips of most species of rose retain the tiny, dried-up remnants of flower petals at the tip of the hip; the Bald-Hip Rose is called “Bald-Hip” because it sheds them. The smooth, brilliant red, somewhat pear-shaped hips are about 3/8” long and persist through winter, providing nutritious sustenance for native birds and bits of brightness on murky Northwest winter days.

Most of these hardy beauties in the nursery are just beginning to sprout new growth from their pruned back stems. They will fill out nicely as spring progresses.

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