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  • Writer's pictureRose BDW

When the wild rose blooms

Rosa woodsii


You may be noticing a lot of flowers are blooming at the moment, it is summertime after all. Among those flowers is the Wild Rose who's beautiful dusty pink dots the woodlands. When the wild rose blooms it doesn't just signify mid-summer but another important ecological occurrence in the area. For the Salish the wild rose blooms signify that bison calving season is over. True enough if you pay attention to the local bison herds, the little light brown calves have newly joined the herd. Wild rose blooms let hunters know that the baby bison have had some time to spend with their kin and that the fall bison hunt is approaching. Hunters do not hunt in the summer because this could negatively affect the offspring and/or their chances of survival for the future. This is generational thinking.

photo cred: CSKT bison range Facebook

That's not all the Wild Rose has other purposes too!

You can dry the flower petals to make tea and in the fall the fruits (hips) are an excellent source of Vitamin C!

Wild Rose is a woodland shrub with thorns (botanically called "prickles") along the stems. The leaves are usually in 5-9 leaflets. The flower is usually 5-petaled with many anthers. Wild rose can be found in open forest, woodlands, riparian thickets, and grasslands in plains, valleys and montane regions.

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