You might be doing edible landscaping and not even know it. All over world, people are growing roses, without knowing that they are growing something that is edible. As a kid I’d heard of rose hips being full of vitamin C, but who wants to eat a packet of seeds that can be chewy and unappetizing? Not me, especially not as a kid.
Since that time I have had rose tea, seen rose butter, rose sugar, rose honey, and more. I was introduced to rose tea at a nice restaurant and found it to be pretty good. Rose petals can be used in garnishes and in salads and in cooking. They are fragrant and have a delicate floral taste that varies amongst the different varieties. I’ve found that some of the darker roses can have a yucky metallic taste to them, so try tasting some before using them.
Personally, I prefer the taste of the red and wilder rugosa roses. The rugosa roses I have grown have had rose hips that were the size of cherry tomatoes, and had more fleshiness to them that had a taste that reminded me of sweet apple. The smaller rose petals are easier to use in salads, garnishes, and so on. I also like that my rugosa roses seemed to be more disease resistant and require less care.
I am not saying to not use other roses with larger petals, since even the larger roses can be used to flavor butters, sugar, honey, tea, etc. The range of color, variety, and beauty of different roses can be very appealing in a landscape.
I would not recommend tasting roses at the nursery or floral shop. Oftentimes those roses have been sprayed with toxic substances to either decrease decay or discourage disease.
I grow a few different roses in my yard. Most of them were there when I bought the house. I have pictures of some of my red ones.
This is a larger rose
This rose bush has many smaller blossoms
There are many recipes available for using roses. I would encourage you to take the plunge and try some. Personally, I think the next recipe I am going to try is rose lemonade. I will run it past my official taste testers, my kids, and see if it passes for regular use.
Jun 7, 2007 | 11:22 AM PST
Your rose bushes are beautiful. I haven't had rose bushes in about 6 or 7 years. I just planted the first roses at this house. I am pretty sure they must be real hardy because of how we came to have them. LOL My husband and I dug them up from a property that his dad and him own and have been trying to remodel. They were working on it last summer and fall also and our Brother in Law was mowing...I guess everything because there were no rose bushes there. We were over there working a couple of weeks ago and saw them and that they had already bloomed. So we don't know what the flowers even look like. I hope that they survive the move and grow to look nice like yours.
Jun 7, 2007 | 2:44 PM PST
I found multiple sources that all claim that all roses are edible, so I am pretty sure they all are, including wild roses. If you are sure they are roses I'd recommend trying just a little at first.