This shrub's fruit reminds me of a hawthorn, but I do not see long sharp thorns like I would expect, only short spikes - so what is this and more importantly can I eat it like a hawthorn fruit? The plants seem to live without much water aside from a fairly rainy climate. This is in the Seattle area - hardiness zone 7.

This picture gives a good view of the leaves and a flower - this seems late in their season since most shrubs bear ripening fruit and no flowers at this point. view of flower and leaves

Some of the plants bear pink flowers like the one above, and some white flowers like this one. This picture gives a good view inside the flower. inside view of flower

Ouch! These spikes don't cover all of the branches. spikes on branch

These little nubs look to me like they might be growth potentials but I don't know enough about shrubs to say for sure. possibly a growth potential on the branch

As you can see, the fruits tend to be solitary, the plant is typically about four feet high. overall view of plant

Here's a good view of a fruit and the reverse side of a leaf. fruit and reverse side of leaf

The fruit is fleshy and contains many seeds. It is soft but not very juicy. inside view of fruit

  • I answered my own question after some more searching - if anyone has a more detailed answer such as the exact species or other additional information, I will accept your answer.
    – Void Star
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 1:52

2 Answers 2


Check out Rosa rugosa. There are several cultivars, with different coloured flowers. They're tough roses, widely used in amenity landscaping.

  • The description fits remarkably well, as do pictures I find, and while these are not in their native habitat the conditions are similar - soil with high mineral content but low in clay, probably high drainage. It also makes sense as a hardy plant to have been chosen for its particular location, decorative but low maintenance for a public space. I'll wait a little bit for comments and answers to possibly trickle in but this sure seems right.
    – Void Star
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 3:23
  • @VoidStar - They're lovely shrub roses, with a delicious scent. I've got two in my (very) small garden - Rosa rugosa 'Roseraie de l'Hay' and Rosa rugosa 'Fru Dagmar Hastrup'.
    – Peter4075
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 8:45

This is CLEARLY a rose - I can't believe I didn't see that earlier. The Wikiedia article on their accessory fruits has a good picture. And yes - rose hips have culinary purposes.

  • But you should check where it grows. If it is in wild, where there were no landfill, it should be ok. If it is on gardens, I would never eat it (and because you have two different flowers type, I assume it is not so "wild"). Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 18:16
  • Oh I wouldn't eat THESE but I developed a general interest in the plant and whether the species is edible (i.e. if I could cultivate it for its fruit). These are growing in the nastiest parking lot runoff of the Northgate Mall, haha.
    – Void Star
    Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 3:12

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