Friday, September 22, 2006

Rosa rugosa/ Hybenrose

Rose hips/hyben are the orange , red, brown or black fruits of the rose. The most common wild rose in Denmark is Rosa rugosa, which came to country in the midst of the 1800s. It's growing by beaches and along the edges of roads. The fruits are eaten by fruit-eating birds such as trushes and waxwings, which then disperse the seed in their droppings.

Rose hip is very rich in C-vitamin, it's among the richest sources of any plant, it also has a good amount of A-vitamin and calcium.

The rose hips are good for jelly and marmelade, juice, tea, soup. Rosehips are also commonly used externedly in oil form to restore firmness to the skin by nourishing and astringing tissue.
It's the outer peel of the fruit that's used. The seeds are filled with itching powder.

In some pagan mythologies no undead or ghostly creatures (i.e. vampires) may cross the path of a wild rose. It was thought that to place a wild rose on a coffin of a recently deceased person would prevent them from rising again.

photo: grethe bachmann

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Paradise Apple/Paradisæble /Malus species

Paradise Apple is a lovely little tree with bunches of beautiful flowers in the spring and lots of miniature apples in yellow or red colours in the autumn. They are hardy trees and are found in many sorts, some of them grow in gardens and parks, other in fences or feral in forest and thicket. Most of the sorts origin from East Asia. There is place for a paradise apple tree even in the smallest garden.

The fruits are still on the trees a long time after leaf fall, and they are very much sought after by birds.

De biggest fruits are fine in jelly and gelé. They can also give an extra special taste to a snaps - whole preserved paradise apples are an excellent and pretty accompaniment for many desserts - and raw paradise apples cooked in pies, cakes or fermented into cider - the taste can be sweet and pleasant.

photo: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cherry Plum/Kirsebærblomme ('Mirabelle')
Prunus cerasifera

Cherry Plum grows wild in the countryside, but is also found in gardens both in fence and as a pretty standard tree. The fruits have a fine yellow-orange to red colour. They can be eaten fresh in some forms, being sweet with a good flavour, while others are sour, but excellent for jam-making. They are also used in snaps and liqueur. Cherry plum is also called Myrobalan (plum).

Kirsebærblomme is mostly known as Mirabelle in Denmark, although they are not quite the same species. It is popular served as stewed fruit with double cream. This year, 2006, has been an immensely rich fruit season, also for the 'Mirabelles', and the windfalls have been fermenting on the ground making the wasps and other insects drugged and confused. They have also in some degree attracted a special butterfly, Camberwell Beauty (Sørgekåbe) , which is sucking alcohol from the 'Mirabelles' .

Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis aniopa) is rare in Denmark, but this year there was an 'invasion'. Maybe the warmer climate is due to this.

photo: grethe bachmann