Found over an incredible area!
These roses grow from Alaska to Quebec and New England. They are found in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Northern New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Minnesota,, Michigan and Wisconsin, It's found in the Rockies and on the northern great plains. It was primarily from Asian Europe but extended into Alaska.
Food for a large group of hungry folk!
"Prickly Rose" hybridizes with the smooth white rose, Nootka Rose, Prairie wild rose and Wood's rose and is a species of the Boreal forests.Because of this it is an important food source for grouse, snowshoe hares and rodents.
Mule deer eat it in Colorado. White tail deer, pronghorn, elk, moose and mountain sheep all consider it a delicacy. Black and grizzly bears eat the rose hips as do many songbirds and small mammals. Larger fur bearing animals such as bears, rabbits and beaver eat hips, stems and foliage.
A high nutritional value
Hips of prickly rose are high in Vitamin A and a winter source of vitamin C. Rose hips tend to be highly digestible and fairly high in protein although this decreases as leaves fall.
A great ground cover.
Thickets of wild roses provide excellent nesting sites and protective covering for birds as well as shelter for small mammals. Mule deer, white tail deer and elk get good thermal cover as well as food.
Man needs it too!
Prickly rose is recommended for re-vegetation of moist wet sites. It is evidently a very good choice for erosion control, covering an area very rapidly, and with tolerance to crude oil. It has shown good drought tolerance on the amended oil sands of Alberta.
..and what else?
Native Americans had many uses.
Native Americans made medicinal tea from these roses, the inner bark was smoked, rose roots were boiled to make a compress to stop swellings and the same solution was gargled to prevent sore throats and nose bleeding. Of course, not being doctors, we cannot tell how effective these remedies were.
..and if that isn't enough!
Wild roses are moderately fire resistant and are well adapted for sprouting after a fire. Prickly rose seeds are fire resistant, and self seeding on a fire ravaged site is quite possible. You want to re-vegetate after a fire? Wild Roses are a good bet.
So how close do we come to a miracle bush?
What is amazing is that wild roses, particularly the Prickly rose can be found is such far away places and provide such an abundance of resources.
[ Our thanks to the ASDA Forest Service for some of the information used in this article. Their database is quite formidable. ] www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants.
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