Since they are treasured for their vitamin C content, they should be harvested before the first frost as the vitamin C content can decrease by 20% for the first frost and almost 50% if they are still on the plant at the time of the second frost.
Represents the main genus of the Rosaceae (rose family). Some of its common relatives include, peach, apple, strawberry, geum, cotoneaster, hawthorn and Pyracantha.
Hips are formed at the base of flowers and are actually fruit. They contain many achenes (seeds), usually red or orange or sometimes black to green, enclosed in a fleshy receptacle. In addition and most importantly as related to their commercial use, they contain high amounts of vitamin C.
Even in the Middle Ages, when most plants were grown solely for practical or medicinal purposes, the rose was cultivated for its beauty alone. Yet, the rose “hip” or flower base has been known for many years as a source for vitamin C.