The Dog Rose used to be a familiar sight in country hedgerows, but is now much less common with the destruction of so much farmland hedging. Its pretty pink and white flowers on arching branches and oval scarlet hips have great charm and it has good wildlife value. Fast growing, it is perhaps best used in mixed wildlife hedging and on woodland margins to add colour in summer and autumn.
Site and soil
Any soil, but especially good on chalky land and coastal sites. Full sun.
Height and spread
Below are the approximate stages of growth, assuming sited in suitable conditions for this species;
After 10 years: 1.5m x 1.5m After 20 years: 1.5m x 1.5m
Leaf and bark
The leaves are pinnate, divided into 5-7 leaflets. The bark is smooth and green, darkening to brown on older wood, and covered with spines.
Flower, seed and fruit
The single five-petalled flowers are usually pale pink with a white centre, but there is much variation in the species with lighter and darker flowers appearing; the centre is filled with yellow stamens. The flowers appear in June and July. The seeds are enclosed within a fleshy oval scarlet fruit, or hip, ripening in autumn.
Wildlife hedges, woodland margins. The hips are a good source of vitamin C and were collected by schoolchildren during WWII to make rose hip syrup. They are also used to make conserves, jams and sauces. The dried leaves have been used to make a tea substitute, and the whole plant has medicinal uses. The roots are used commercially as a rootstock for cultivated roses.
A range of insects are attracted to the flowers. Birds, including redwings and bullfinches feed on the hips, as do small mammals like Bank Voles and wood mice. A number of moth larvae, including the Common Emerald and Vapourer Moth feed on the leaves.
The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:
When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golden rule is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.
Vole, Mice 20cm
Roe Deer, Muntjac 1.20m
Fallow Deer 1.50m
Pest & Minimum Protection Height
Protection Type Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.