How to Identify Rose Hips


Rose hips are the fruit of the rose bush. Used for teas, syrups and simply eaten fresh, rose hips contain more vitamin C than citrus, reports Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor from the University of Vermont. Rose hips mature in late summer after roses have ceased blooming. Iowa State University reports that the tastiest rose hips can be found on shrub roses and old garden roses, but all rose hips are edible. Seeds, however, should be removed before eating.

Step 1

Examine rose bushes for rose hips in late fall after all blooms have faded. Rose hips develop the best flavor once they have been touched by frost.

Step 2

Look for small rounded fruit that looks like a tiny apple. Most are red or reddish-orange, but some rose hips are golden or scarlet. Color depends on the cultivar.

Step 3

Gently squeeze the fruit between your thumb and forefinger. If the fruit is soft, it is ripe.

Step 4

Harvest by handpicking.


  • University of Vermont Extension: Rose Hips
  • Iowa State University Extension: Roses Have Hips Too!
Keywords: identify rose hips, rose hips, pick rose hips

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.