Prairie Rose (qel’q)

Prairie Rose is a deciduous shrub that is easily identified through its dense prickles along the stems, and bright red ‘hips’. It is an important food source for wildlife, with the rose hips rich in nutrients.

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Description
Latin Name Rose woodsii
Type Shrub
Description Prairie Rose is a deciduous shrub that is easily identified through its dense prickles along the stems, and bright red ‘hips’. It is an important food source for wildlife, with the rose hips rich in nutrients.
Height and Spread Up to 2 m tall. Up to 2 m spread.
Bloom Colour Pink with Yellow centre
Bloom Months Spring to early summer
Foliage Colour Green
Seed Months The seeds grow in ‘hips’ that mature in late summer.
Light and Water Grows in a variety of grasslands and open forests. Often found in dry areas, although will grow more robustly with more water.
Ethnobotany Information The Okanagan people ate the flower buds of Prairie Rose as well as using the thorns for fish lures. The rose hips were only used for food in times of famine, as they were said to give a person an ‘itchy bottom.’
Wildlife Uses The hips are a particularly important food source for wildlife in the south interior, being rich in many vitamins and nutrients, particularly vitamin C.
Garden Uses The Prairie Rose is a good alternative to conventional varieties of rose for the locally minded gardener. Both the flowers and hips are beautiful additions to any garden. One should take note of the spines when considering where to place Prairie Rose in a garden, as well as consider that it can spread aggressively through root suckers.
Facts One of the most successful ways to germinate Prairie Rose, along with other local species, is through collecting bear feces and planting it in trays. Through the digestion process the rose seeds are prepared for germination.
Propagation Techniques Prairie Rose can be propagated by the seeds when they are removed from the fleshy hip and planted in the fall. They can also be successfully propagated by taking root cuttings with suckers and replanting.