The Rosa Rugosa - also known as wrinkled rose, salt-spray rose, beach tomato, sea tomato, beach rose and potato rose - first arrived in Nantucket in 1845 and became well established in Connecticut by 1920.
It’s usually the first shrub from the beach, tolerating salt spray and seasonal storms, and establishes strong thickets that help to build and maintain dunes, and in our area, help to prevent erosion.
The flower has five petals, a sweet fragrance, and shows off its wrinkled leaves. (Rugosa is the Latin name for wrinkled.)
Its fruit, the rose hip, looks like a cherry tomato and is edible. Sailors consumed it for its vitamin C.
The best place to view a variety of Rosa Rugosa is at Long Beach, where it maintains the dunes.
Lordship is in a migratory pathway for many species, which might explain the shrub's existence at Russian Beach and Long Beach.