Nootka roses (Rosa Nutkana) are beginning to bud and bloom. It's a perfect time to harvest the buds. They tend to grow on the edge of forests and alongside the river.
Traditional use of this wild, native rose was as food, medicine and building material. The hips were cooked and given to children with diarrhea. A tonic tea was made from the leaves, petals, branches and inner bark. The leaves were used as a paste for bee stings. In addition, the roots were boiled and combined with those of the Western Red Cedar and gooseberry to make fishnets.
Each year I harvest the buds to make an attractive garnish for soup or on a dessert platter. Trim off the bitter white base before using. I also use them to make crafts with Cymone.
In the fall, we use the vitamin-filled rose hips to prepare a wintertime syrup to fight colds. I will post more on that when the time approaches.
Be sure not to over-harvest. Leave ample fruit for reseeding and wildlife food.