The wild and prickly rose of Alberta
The prickly wild rose is synonymous with the rolling plains and mountainous regions of Alberta. It’s no wonder that this beautiful and fragrant rose is the national flower of Alberta. The prickly rose, Rosa acicularis, was officially adopted as the floral emblem in 1930; the choice was made by school children in a vote for the provincial flower.
The prickly rose’s fragrant blooms can range in colour from very pale to deep pink and begin to adorn the shrub in late May, lasting until early August. Unlike the roses found in florist shops these wild beauties have single petals three to five centimetres in size. This deciduous shrub can be found throughout most of Alberta and can reach heights of five feet.
Once in bloom, its intoxicating fragrance, which is used for the manufacture of perfume, attracts bees and other insects to distribute its pollen. At the end of its life cycle, the bloom withers and turns into a small oval-shaped seed container called a rosehip, which is an important food source for wildlife.
Wild rose hips are known for their high vitamin C content and can be used
Rosa acicularis blossoms.