The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rosa villosa: Apple of my Eye

The star of the woodland garden right now is the fruit of Rosa villosa, also known as the Apple Rose. Rosa villosa is a shrub rose that grows about 6-7 feet tall with arching branches. The bue-green foliage reminds me of Rosa glauca but isn't quite as blue or bothered by Japanese beetles.

The glossy hips are as long as my thumb and a brilliant red with minute pin-sized spines.

 Rosa villosa is reliably loaded with hips every August through October until the birds devour the fruit. Fortunately, the seeds tend to spatter about while the birds are feasting and I have plenty of seedlings to share with gardening friends.

Rosa villosa can handle some shade and has done well in the sandy loam in the woodland garden. The flowers, which bloom in June, are large, simple and pink. There are subtle but lovely.


  1. It does look a lot like rosa glauca, but with the apple red hips it seems more refined. This is the first time I have seen this interesting rose -- good to know it can handle shade. I like it!

  2. Hi Laurrie,
    I like this rose more and more each year. This year was particularly bountiful.

  3. Quite a stand-out plant Michael. I've not seen hips so big (or is that 'wide'?)!

    1. This plant has the biggest and most beautiful that I have seen. You can see them from quite a distance in the garden.



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