Dog Rose

March 9th, 2012

Latin:  Rosa canina

Irish:  Feirdhris


This native species is a member of the Rose family all of which are shrubs with erect or scrambling growth and thorny stems. It is one of the most familiar wildflowers and is very frequent throughout Ireland in hedges, thickets and waste places.

Dog Rose has particularly strong, hooked thorns and it had been suggested that the name “Dog Rose” is a corruption of “Dag Rose” where “dag” means a dagger and refers to the sharpness of the thorns.  It has delicately-scented white or pale pink flowers 4-6 cm across.


In the autumn, it produces red berry-like fruits (hips) that are widely recognised as rich in Vitamin C.  The seeds contained in rosehips, often called “itchy backs”, are covered with fine hairs that act like itching powder when placed on the skin.  In rural areas, even in the recent past, children often subjected their companions to frantic bouts of scratching by putting “itchy backs” down their back between skin and clothes.

It can be found in many of the hedgerows in and around the course.

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