Roses are Red, White, Pink and Edible
Which Roses are Edible?
All rose petals are edible and both wild and cultivated roses can be used, though please see my tips for picking below. The most common wild roses in the UK are Dog Rose (Rosa Canina), Field Rose (Rosa Arvenis) and the Japanese Rose (Rosa Rugosa). Each rose has a different scent, so it's well worth smelling before you start picking, and finding your favourite rose types.
Cultivated roses with a good scent can also be used, but make sure they haven't been sprayed first. Some rose petals may have a bitter aftertase too. Petals can be used to decorate cakes, in cold soups, salads, meat dishes or desserts. Here's a few tips before you pick them though;
How to sustainably pick rose petals for using in recipes
- If you're picking cultivated roses, check: have they been sprayed?
- You can dry rose petals (then rehydrate them), or use them fresh
- Are the petals ready to be pluck (do they come away easily)?
- Petals that are ready to pick may have already fallen, or come away easily when touched (see below)
- Only pick the petals, never the whole flower-head (so the fruits can ripen later in the year)
In early summer and summer I may include roses in my foraging courses, and in the autumn I include the fruits of roses; the rosehips.