Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

roses the well-known flowering shrubs of the genus Rosa, can be traced back to ancient Persia, Egypt, Babylon, and China. More than a score of species are recognized; and there are almost innumerable hybrids and cultivars. The petals of most species can be eaten or used to flavour food, either directly or in the form of rosewater (a fragrant flavouring obtained by the distillation of the petals); and the fruits (known as rose-hips or haws) of many species are edible. Species which are good sources of petals or rosewater include:

  • R. centifolia, cabbage rose, Provence rose;

  • R. × damascena, damask rose;

  • R. gallica, French rose, Apothecary’s rose;

  • R. moschata, musk rose;

  • R. rugosa, Japanese/Chinese/Turkestan rose.