November 10, 2021
Ben here with another edition of #BenInNature presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust!
The blooms may have fallen away from your rose bush (genus Rosa), but if the flowers were successfully pollinated, you'll be left with rose hips! Rose hips are "accessory fruits" of rose plants, which means that they're a type of fruit that doesn't exclusively form from the floral ovary, but rather from some other part of the flower. Apples, figs, pears, and strawberries are also accessory fruits.
Rose hips begin forming in spring or early summer but don't ripen until later in the summer through fall. They're used to make all kinds of different treats, including jam, jelly, wine, tea, bread, and pie. They can apparently be eaten raw as well, but care must be undertaken to avoid the little hairs inside the fruit. Rose hip hairs have only one notable use: they're used to make itching powder!
There has been research conducted into using extracts from rose hips to treat arthritis pain, and while more studies need to be conducted, the initial trial showed some effectiveness! They're also very high in vitamin C, so if you're planning a treacherous sailing trip, be sure to bring along a few rose hips to ward off the scurvy!
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!