Roses for hips

All roses produce hips, but we don't see them as often as flowers because gardeners tend to trim off spent blossoms to encourage a flush of new ones. But if you leave some – or all – of the dying flowers, they'll turn into eye-catching hips in early autumn, often lasting well into winter.

The best hips are produced by species roses, which can be planted either as standalone specimens or as hedges in wilder areas of the garden, where you can let them grow naturally without much pruning. Rambler and climbing roses are also good choices, as their trusses of flowers turn into hundreds of hips.

Roses are in the same family as apples, so it's no surprise that their hips are also edible, tasting slightly tart, like crab apples. They're a rich source of vitamin C, with levels up to 10 times greater than oranges. The right time to harvest hips is just after the first frosts have softened them, but they're still firm and colourful. Just be sure to leave some for the birds.

Here are eight of the best roses for hips.


Rosa canina

Birds adore the red, egg-shaped hips of the wild dog rose, Rosa canina, which are also good for cooking. A common hedgerow shrub, it bears white to pale pink flowers in early summer. Height 3m, spread 1.5m.

Rosa filipes 'Kiftsgate'

Masses of orange-red hips adorn this much-loved, rampant rambler, Rosa filipes 'Kiftsgate'. It needs a large tree or building to grow over and produces trusses of fragrant creamy-white single flowers. Height 10m, spread 6m.

Rosa 'Fru Dagmar Hastrup'

The small, orange-red hips of Rosa 'Fru Dagmnar Hastrup' look like cherry tomatoes. In summer, pale pink, clove-scented flowers cover this sturdy, spreading shrub rose. Height 1m, spread 1.2m.

Rosa 'Madame Grégoire Staechelin'

Rosa 'Madame Grégoire Staechelin' is a glorious climber with huge hips that turn from yellow to pinkish-red, emerging from double, pale pink flowers in May. Although prone to fungal disease, its beauty makes it worth the effort. Height 6m, spread 4m.

Rosa moyesii

Elegant urn-shaped orange-red hips and arching stems make Rosa moyesii an excellent species shrub rose for borders. It produces single, pink or striking dark red flowers in summer. Height 4m, spread 3m.

Rosa rugosa 'Alba'

Shiny cherry-tomato hips and healthy foliage make Rosa rugosa 'Alba' a robust dog rose, ideal for hedging. It's adored by gardeners, cooks and birds alike. Its scented white blooms open from pink buds. Height and spread 2m.

Rosa setipoda

Bristly, urn-shaped, dark red hips hang on the arching stems of Rosa setipoda, making a striking autumn feature. In summer, large clusters of pale pink flowers appear. Height and spread 2m.

Rosa spinosissima

Known as the Scotch rose, Rosa spinosissima is a charming but very prickly species rose. Purplish-black hips follow the white, early summer flowers. Height 1m, spread 1.2m.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Eight plants to grow with cosmos

Best rambling roses to grow

How to deadhead buddleja

Related offers

SAVE 20%

Subscriber only content

Save at Blooming Direct

Get an exclusive 20% off everything at Blooming Direct, including roses, shrubs, grow-your-own fruit and veg, bedding, bulbs, a range of accessories and more.

Unlock now


Four clematis for £9.95

Autumn is a great time to plant clematis. Buy this collection of four gorgeous award-winning varieties for just £9.95. You'll also get free p&p with this offer.

Order now


French river cruise

Join David Hurrion, on an eight-night cruise of scenic French rivers. Explore Rouen, Bordeaux and Lorient along the way, visit three amazing gardens and relax with all inclusive drinks, all from just £1,199 per person.

Order now