You know what was great about the female movie stars of the ’50s? They had hips! You know one of the great things about roses? They’ve got hips, too!

Rugose rose hips

Rugose rose has some of the largest hips of all.

Photo Credit: Lane Greer

Blue-leaved rose hips

In early summer, the hips of blue-leaved roses are just beginning to color. By fall they’ll turn reddish-black.

Photo Credit: Lane Greer

Jug shaped rose hips

Jug-, bottle- or urn-shaped – all refer to hips that look like this.

Photo Credit: Lane Greer

Rose hip wreath

Rose hips make great wreaths that’ll last for years.

Photo Credit: Lane Greer

Yes, when most people think about roses, they tend to jump to the blooms. But as those who are big into rose gardening know, many of these shrubs are actually grown for their terrific hips, too. Here are a few plants that are especially “hip to the groove:”

One of the very best hip producers is rugose rose (Rosa rugosa). The hips on this plant are so big and round, that one common name for it is “sea tomato.” What are some other great features of this rose? It’s highly disease-resistant, has wrinkled leaves, and it blooms in white or pink flowers throughout summer. Best of all, the hips begin to appear while the plant’s still flowering, so you get two beauties for the price of one! The cultivar ‘Scabrosa’ has hips of different colors, ranging from green to tomato red. These shrubs grow from 4-5 feet tall and are hardy to Zone 5.

Another rose with nice round hips is the hybrid Rosa ‘Pumpkin’, which has – you guessed it – huge, orange hips. This rose, too, reaches 4-5 feet tall and is hardy to Zone 5.

If you’re looking for a rose with neat foliage, as well as nice hips, try the red- or blue-leaved roses, Rosa rubrifolia or Rosa glauca. (This is actually the same plant, but it goes by two different names, depending on whom you ask.) They’ve got reddish-purple foliage, pink flowers and clusters of dark red hips. The plants are disease-resistant, grow 6-7 feet tall and are hardy in zones 2-8.

Want more dark red hips? Try Scotch rose (Rosa spinosissima). This beauty features round, shiny, reddish-black hips, as well as white flowers and lots of prickles. It grows 3 feet tall, suckers (has branches that come from roots) to make big thickets and is hardy to Zone 3.

Then there are the not-so-round hips, variously described as urn-shaped, bottle-shaped or jug-shaped. The hard-to-pronounce Rosa ‘Scharlachglut’ (or ‘Scarlet Fire’, to make life easy) has just such hips in shades of orange-red. This plant is big – growing to 9 feet tall – and is hardy to Zone 4. Himalayan rose (Rosa macrophylla) also has bottle-shaped, bright red hips. It grows 7 feet tall and is hardy to Zone 4 as well.

Dog rose (Rosa canina) has elongated orange-red hips and is native to Europe (but wild-growing plants can be found in the eastern US). The flowers are simple and pink. This shrub has lots of prickly thorns and grows 8-10 feet tall. It’s hardy to Zone 5.

Finally, the hips of moyes rose (Rosa moyesii) are large, jug-shaped and a shiny red. This plant bears red flowers in summer and has lots of prickles. Try ‘Geranium’ for even larger hips or ‘Highdownensis’ for orange ones. These shrubs grow 8-12 feet tall and are hardy to Zone 5.

While it may be a long time before hips on movie stars are in vogue again (J. Lo, perhaps, being the exception), hips on roses will never go out of style!