Saturday, June 11, 2011
DOG ROSE - VERED HA KELEV - HECKENROSE
The Dog Rose - Rosa Canina, Vered HaKelev ורד הכלב, has five Petals, varying at different shrubs, and even at the same bush, from light to dark pink. It grows here in Israel at the Golan, the Hermon, in the Galilee, and on the Samarian and Judean mountains, but is also native to Europe and northwest Africa. Its Norwegian name is "steinnype", translating to "stone hip", which is a very fitting name, because the plant loves to cling to rocks and cliffs and thrives in stony areas.
The name "dog rose" is present in several languages, I could not find out clearly why - one explanation is that the plant's roots may have been used to treat the bite of a mad dog. This sweet rose is uttermost beautiful, its flowers are delicate, graceful and faintly fragrant, sunshine makes them to look luminous. At the Hermon spring is still not over and we were thrilled to find plenty of the dog rose bushes this weekend at the slopes of the mountain, lining the street on the side of the hill the last kilometer or so up to its foot.
The plant was cultivated a long time ago and often used for hedges on the boundaries of gardens. I very well remember the Heckenrose from my childhood in Germany, I loved its prettiness, oh, and I have also angry and funny memories of bad boys in school who would ambush the girls from behind and throw the torn open hips, the Hagebutten, inside their shirts down the back, and the layer of hairs near the seeds of the hip would cause a terrible itch! But the hips are actually very lovely, bright red in autumn, the shape of an eye. They are edible and rich in Vitamin C. Tea and marmalade is made from them, and they are a helpful remedy for bladder and kidney diseases as well.
Some lines honoring the dog rose, the briar rose, are included in the wonderful poem "The Lady of the Lake" by Sir Walter Scott:
"All twinkling with the dewdrop sheen,
The briar rose fell in streamers green,
Kind creeping shrubs of thousand dyes
Waved in the west wind's summer sighs."
"Bedeckt mit Glitzerperlen frischen Taus,
Streckt's Heckenroeslein gruene Wimpel aus."
Very loosely (not by me) but beautifully translated into German.
I had this lovely small piece of rose fabric for a long time hiding on a shelf, till I pulled it out last week, and made a pretty bag from it - I used it to model the rose bush - or I used the rosebush to model the bag - either way I love it!
Photos by my husband Uri Eshkar and by me.