Native Rose Plant Ethnobiology

Native Rose Plant Ethnobiology

Part 6

What is taxonomy? Part 1 | Rosids Part 2 | genus Rosa Part 3
| Rose Species Part 4 | Rose reproduction Part 5 | Bibliography  | New Wild Roses of Saskatchewan and How to Tell them Apart

Ethnobiology embarks on the scientific study of how human cultures interacted with the environment, and the ever-changing relationship with biota and organisms.  Ethnobiologists investigate how human societies have used nature, and how do they view nature in the distant past, to the immediate present.  They investigate the common lore or the folk knowledge of how humans  interact with organisms.  Traditional knowledge is rapidly being lost, and the field of ethnobiology is a process of knowledge acquisition and organisation for the management of useful plant and animal populations in the natural system and environment.

Besides wild animals, humans have been known to value the nutritional value of these plants.  In addition to people and animals, worms and insects have an affinity for the nutrition value of the rose hips, so it is best to check for worms before eating a rose hip.  According to Joseph Shorthouse in his report, Galls Induced by Cynipid Wasps of the Genus Diplolepis (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) on the Roses of Canada’s Grasslands, native rose plants “are host to insects in a variety of guilds, including leaf chewers, leaf miners, fluid feeders, stem borers, pollinators, and gall inducers.”

Rose hips with seeds and skins removed make jams, marmalades, catsup, jellies and syrups.  Rose hips are tastiest for those used to a North American diet after the first frost which brings out the sweetness.  This same rose hip pulp may be dried and ground into powder form as an addition to baking recipes or puddings.  Young green rose hips can be peeled and cooked. Rose petals are known for their perfume.

Please be stewards of  both the afforestation areas – Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and George Genereux Urban Regional Park forest communities, do not harvest too many parts of the rose plant.  Learn and check into the scientific names of plants, and make a good native rose plant identification from Part 1 Part 2 | Part 3| Part 4 | Part 5 .  Nature is very diverse, and evolves and plant species may hybridize with each other.  When in doubt, please leave the plant out before harvesting so that other visitors and animal foragers may enjoy the native roses.   It is wise take only pictures and to leave no trace when visiting the Saskatoon afforestation areas to mitigate ecological damage.  The afforestation areas are experiencing an exponential increase in the human footprint, and a little foresight will ensure that the plants are not extirpated from the greenspace.  Consider where you are digging and harvesting: do you have permission? Who do you get permission from?  Who owns the land, and who manages the land of the afforestation areas?

“If a man loses one-third of his skin he dies; if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it too dies. If the Earth is a ‘sentient being’, would it not be reasonable to expect that if it loses one-third of its trees and vegetable covering, it will also die?” Richard St. Barbe Baker

Buds and flowers or the soaked and boiled root cambium can be used in the making of rose water, a base for eye wash treatments.  Leaves, flowers and buds can be infused in the making of teas. When using the bark of the rose bush for a tea decoction, muscles would find relief and diarrhea would be relieved.  Flowers and flower buds may relieve diarrhea or stomach upset.

First Nations people sometimes smoked the inner bark-like substance of the rose bush like tobacco.  There are reports that native persons ate the rosehip rinds, and left the seeds to grow again. Eating the layer of hairs around the seeds may cause irritation to the mouth and to the digestive tract.  The rose hips may create diarrhea, if too many are ingested. A compress from the boiled rose roots would relieve swelling.  The solution made from boiled rose roots could be gargled to relieve swelling of tonsillitis and sore throats, or mouth sores.

Besides the ethnobotanical uses of wild roses, rose wood can be fashioned into arrows and pipe stems.  Rose hips would be used historically as beads before mass-manufactured beads were acquired through trade as early as the nineteenth century.  The Cree called the Rosehip (singular); okiniy (plural); okiniyak ᐅᑭᓂᕀ

Do you think you would like to be an ethnobiolgist? Why or why not?

Debate the efficacy of native rose plants related to ethnobiology and health science, including developing materials to support the arguments for and against a posi៝tion.  Would ethnobiological approaches contribute to mental, physical, or spiritual perspectives on health?

Do native rose plants provide any important macronutrients to maintain human, insect or animal health?

Do humans still rely on native rose plants for treating illness, disease, or to improve health and wellness?  Are native rose plants a common garden plant for most city residents?  How have communities and people changed historically to contemporary times?  Could you purchase herbs, vitamins, essential oils from native rose plants in the local grocery store?  in the health food store?

Have native rose plants contributed to traditional or indigenous rituals or ceremonies or in  health care?  Do native rose plants contribute in these same ways to any other culture world wide?

If a  health care professional must weigh the following ethical decisions would a health care professional work hand in hand with an ethnobiologist?

  • What can be done for the patient? (intervention technologies)
  • Does the patient understand the options? (informed consent)
  • What does the patient want? (autonomy)
  • hat are the benefits? (beneficence)
  • Will it harm the patient? (non‐maleficence)
  • Are the patient’s requests fair and able to be satisfied? (justice)
  • Are the costs involved fair to society? (economic consequences)

When relying upon the various components of the native rose plant for health care; contrast – researching the differences, and compare -delving into the similarities through study those  decisions made related to ethnobiology and health care from the various viewpoints of individuals who hold different beliefs.

How do plants – the native rose bushes, and animals – humans harvesting petals, root parts, and leafs interact to meet their basic needs?

What are some uses of the various parts of a rose bush plant based upon the form and materials that the plant is made of?

Compare the texture, and properties of the various part of the native rose plant.  How do the leaves, petals, rose hips and stems compare with hardness, smell, flexibility, etc  How do the characteristics of the rose plant create a useful feature for the plant in its survival?  How do these same characteristics suggest that the various parts of the rose plant might be useful for a specific function, material source or usefulness for different objects.

How do people show respect for living things such as the native rose bush plants?

Describe and evaluate the methods in which the parts of the native rose plants may be used appropriately and efficiently to the benefit of themselves, others, and the environment.

How do humans and animals take note of their senses as they interact with a native rose bush.  If humans were to eat the rose hip or smell the rose flower, what are some safety considerations?

What season would be great to find a rose hip?  What time of the year would people locate a rose flower?  Why do roses make these adaptations?

What are the consequences of combining a professional health care approach with the ethnobiologist report?  Create and debate with arguments for and against a posi៝tion or hypothesis.

Do you know of another way that humans interacted with native rose bushes?

Nîhiyawak (Cree) refers to “those who speak the same language.[*]”  The etymology of the nehiyaw has two roots; it comes from Nîwo translated as four and -iyaw or miyaw meaning body or souls,  four aspect,  four directional beings.[*, *,*,*,*].   Wahkohtowin is a word from the Cree language meaning those acts of being in kinship.  Then there is the Cree word “maskihkiwiskwewiw” which loosely translated into English would be medicine woman[*]; “maskikiwiyiniwiw” meaning medicine man[*].  To fully understand ethnobotany, one must delve into the maskihkîy or medicine inherent in the native rose bush.  This would be to take on the world view of the nehiyaw to be in true wahkohtowin with the rose bush, to speak the same language as the roses.

Identify both macronutrients and micronutrients found in the various plant parts of the native rose bush.  Show how these sources and the amounts found in the native rose plant are necessary for health, and how they may affect the wellness of a human or animal.

Create a through scientific investigation into ethnobiology regarding native rose plants.  Start with a question, then create a hypothesis, and then design a procedure to test the hypothesis with those details needed to collect and analyze the data.

What structural or physiological adaptations and methods does the rose hip employ to defend itself against predators?

Analyze and debate how the personal beliefs, culture and understanding effects the appreciation of place based learning  with the environment is influenced by personal experiences and cultural understandings.

Discuss the roles of native rose plants as providers of medicinal, spiritual, nutritional needs of Western, First Nations, Métis and other cultures.

How many native rose bushes would you need to grow to sustain healthy eating practice for various ages, sizes and types of people for their lifestyle requirements?

What is appeal from the three native rose species to animals that live in the afforestation areas? Prickly Rose (Rosa Acicularlis Lindl.) the Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana)  and Wood’s Rose, or Wild Rose (Rosa woodsii)

What is appeal from the three native rose species to humans historically?  Do the rose species offer the same advantages? Prickly Rose (Rosa Acicularlis Lindl.) the Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana)  and Wood’s Rose, or Wild Rose (Rosa woodsii)

Are there any other rose species which you may see in the afforestation areas?  Why or why not?

Which rose species have you seen in the afforestation areas?

What happens from over-harvesting?

What is a hori hori?

Who owns the land, and who manages the land of the afforestation areas?

Can you establish native rose plants in your own yard, or in your community garden?

Bibliography for Native Rose Plants Part 1 Part 2 | Part 3
| Part 4 | Part 5  | Part 6

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For directions as to how to drive to “George Genereux” Urban Regional Park

For directions on how to drive to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

For more information:

Blairmore Sector Plan Report; planning for the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area,  George Genereux Urban Regional Park and West Swale and areas around them inside of Saskatoon city limits

P4G Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth The P4G consists of the Cities of Saskatoon, Warman, and Martensville, the Town of Osler and the Rural Municipality of Corman Park; planning for areas around the afforestation area and West Swale outside of Saskatoon city limits

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page:
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Where is the George Genereux Urban Regional Park (Afforestation Area)? with map

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Facebook Group Page: Users of the George Genereux Urban Regional Park

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West OLRA

Twitter: StBarbeBaker

Please help protect / enhance your afforestation areas, please contact the Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc. (e-mail)

Support the afforestation areas with your donation or membership ($20.00/year).  Please donate by paypal using the e-mail friendsafforestation AT, or by using e-transfers  Please and thank you!  Your donation and membership is greatly appreciated.  Members e-mail your contact information to be kept up to date!

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“The simple act of planting a tree, which is in itself a practical deed, is also the symbol of a far reaching ideal, which is creative in the realm of the Spirit, and in turn reacts upon society, encouraging all to work for the future well being of humanity rather than for immediate gain. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker

 “We forget that we owe our existence to  the presence of Trees.   As far as forest  cover goes, we have never been in such a  vulnerable position as we are today.  The  only answer is to plant more Trees – to  Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

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