Wild Roses: The Prairie Rose
For those of us that enjoy using roses for natural remedies and recipes, the wild varieties are what we turn to first. Wild (or species) roses are more hardy than their highly bred cousins, and with their abundance of big red hips, they are a foragers delight! And with their wafer thin petals, they make excellent rose petal tea, much better than any of the common garden roses.
The prairie rose is another popular native flower found in the US. Also called the rosa Arkansana, it is found primarily in the central portion of the US and North America. The name rosa arkansana comes from the Arkansas River, in which valley you can often find this abundant flower.
This flower can be found, obviously, in prairies, meadows and clearings. Due to cross pollinating over the years, it can be somewhat difficult to identify. As with all wild breeds, it has five petals with varying bloom colors, from white to pink. Occasionally, you will find a specimen with a deep red color, if you’re lucky! Again blooms normally strike during the early spring, around May or June.
The prairie rose is quite resilient, and can grow from seeds or old roots. It has adapted well to the frequent fires and droughts that can occur on the Great plains.