Friday, March 23, 2012

✿ Rose Hips ✿

A berry-like structure called the rose hip is the  aggregate fruit of the rose. The hips of most species are red, but a few (e.g. Rosa pimpinellifolia) have dark purple to black hips. Each hip comprises an outer fleshy layer, the hypanthium, which contains 5–160 "seeds" (technically dry single-seeded fruits called achenes) embedded in a matrix of fine, but stiff, hairs. Many of the domestic cultivars do not produce hips, as the flowers are so tightly petalled that they do not provide access for pollination.
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Harvesting and Storage

Pick rose hips when they are thoroughly ripened. Ripe rose hips are deep in color, and soft to the touch without being mushy. Spread the harvested hips out on a flat surface where they can dry. Before they are completely dry, when the skins of the rose hips begin to shrivel, cut open the rose hips and scrape out the seeds. Allow the rose hips to dry completely, and store them in plastic sealed bags. They will remain fresh for several months in the refrigerator, and indefinitely in the freezer.

The rose hip, the fruit of some species, is used as a minor source of 
Vitamin C.
Rose hips are occasionally made into jam, jelly, and marmalade, or are brewed for tea, primarily for their high vitamin C content. They are also pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup. 

Nutritional Benefits

 Rose hips are noted for their especially high vitamin C content. Every 100 mg of dried rose hips contains between 1,700 to 2,000 mg of vitamin C; this makes it one of the richest plant sources of this vitamin. Rose hips also contain vitamins A and B, along with essential fatty acids, which are associated with heart health, and antioxidant flavonoids, which prevent the oxidation of cells that can lead to cancer and other ailments.

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