By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Rosa virginiana is not a new rose or a special cultivar or a genetic creation that just hit the market. This is an old school rose. It has only five petals – as roses naturally do – with a color that’s a pure and pretty clear pink. It’s the kind of pink I could build a garden around it’s so summery and fresh.

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This is a native rose that grows naturally here and is hardy enough to withstand winters up into New York State. This easy-to-grow shrub has glossy leaves that turn purple-red in the fall, it loves full sun, and enjoys well drained – even sandy – soil.

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Give it some space, it grows to about 4 to 6 feet high and spreads out as well, making a good informal hedge. And, it blooms from June into July, then sporadically after that.

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As the flowers finish, they form rose hips – each with more Vitamin C than an orange! You can use them in soups or jams, or leave them for the birds and other critters to enjoy through the winter while you admire those ruby red fruits decorating your Rosa virginiana.