California Wild Rose (Rosa californica)

California Wild Rose (Rosa californica) found around Convict Lake, California
California Wild Rose (Rosa californica) found around Convict Lake, California

The California Wild Rose (Rosa californica) is a native species of Rose, which is found in California and Oregon and most commonly found in the foot hills of the High Sierra Mountain Range. This is a hearty little planet which can survive the droughts of California, and typically found near water sources.

This plant can be found at elevations up to 6,000 feet. It seeks shady areas at lower elevations but as the altitude increases so does the likelihood to find this little plant in sunny areas.

The California Wild Rose is a low lying shrub which can grow in tall thickets. The plant produces a fragrant pink or magenta colored five petaled flowers with yellow stamen. The delicate looking flower is edible and the hibs of the plant may be used in teas. During WWII, the hips were used as a source of vitamins.

The wild rose is one of the few flowers that blooms cheerfully through the long summer days, lavishing its beautiful clusters of deliciously fragrant flowers as freely along the dusty roadside as in the more secluded thicket. In autumn it often seems inspired to a special luxuriance of blossoming, and it lingers to greet the asters and mingle its pink flowers and brilliant scarlet hips with their delicate lilacs.

Mary Elizabeth Parsons

Like many roses, the wild rose also grows throws for protection for itself, along with shelter for many smaller mammals and birds.

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