Prickly rose, Rosa acicularis is the provincial flower of Alberta. Confusingly, it is often confused with the more or less abundant (depending on the source) common wild or wood rose (R. woodsii), which has fewer thorns.
Most of the plant is edible and the hips are extremely high in Vitamin C as well as several other vitamins, however moderation is advised as over indulgance can cause diarrhea. The hairy seeds within the hip can irritate the digestive track and cause discomfort on elimination.
Various parts of this beautiful, and beautifully scented shrub was used by native people for food, drinks, medicines, jewelry, toys, and to smoke.
The popular rose scent is expensive for a reason: according to my favourite plant resource, sited here, “It takes 60,000 roses to produce 28 ml of pure essential oil”. That’s a lot of flowers!
This species is nearly circumpolar. According to Monstropedia a dead person could be prevented from turning into a vampire by “placing a thorny branch of wild rose in the grave”.