The wild Dog Rose has been England’s national emblem since the “Wars of the Roses” which lasted thirty years in the 15th Century. The civil war was between the ‘Houses’ (or dynasties) of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and York (white rose). King Henry VII united England and devised the symbol of the Tudor Rose which, in heraldry, combines the red and white roses as a sign of unity.
The Dog Rose flowers in English hedgerows from May through to August after which bright red fruits called hips develop, which are an important food for wild birds in the winter. Its roots were once thought to heal the bites of wild dogs.
Its five petals range in colour from white through to pink, with its simplicity and faint sweet smell enhancing the striking beauty of the flower.