Ah, June! Roses are everywhere here on Cape Cod right now but some of our most beloved roses are washashores…Rosa rugosa, our favorite beach rose is so iconic that it is regularly featured on all sorts of promotional materials for the Cape and Islands. It is not native, however, having been brought over from Asia in the 1800s.
Then there’s the heavily scented Rosa multiflora, another Asian import, that grows like a weed wherever planted and birds plant them everywhere after eating the hips or fruits. It’s the one with the little white blossoms that is everywhere right now.
That’s it in the foreground…
We do have a local wild rose though. This sweet pink rose is not as showy or robust as the Rosa rugosa but it is lovely and smells wonderful. Known as the Virginia rose to many it also goes by other common names as well, such as the prairie rose.
All these roses are in bloom right now in places like Fort Hill in Eastham. We have a fabulous weather forecast for the weekend so get outside and enjoy!
I love beach flowers. I love that they persevere through sandy and salty onslaughts. I love that they add a splash of color to the landscape before all the sun bathers arrive with their umbrellas, towels and beach balls.
I especially love beach peas…
Like all peas, vetches, locusts and the like, beach peas belong to the legume family and will have pods for their seeds or peas by mid summer. Beach peas are supposedly edible but are always full of bugs when I pick them….that’s a little too much protein for me.
Right now you can find beach peas in bloom on just about every beach on the Cape. You will also find our beach rose, rosa rugosa. Believe it or not, this lovely iconic Cape Cod flower is not native! It is an Asian washashore either brought here in bilge water or by a lovesick sea captain for his beloved wife. You pick the story you like….
I’ll pick the romance every time…
So get on out there and smell the flowers while they last….beach flowers are ethereal things and disappear as soon as a hint of heat arrives….