We determined the level of flavonoids, citric acid and ascorbic acid in hips of rose species from the Caninae section occurring in Poland. We performed phytochemical analyses of 75 samples representing 11 species: Rosaagrestis Savi, R. canina L., R. dumalis Bechst., R. glauca Pourret, R. inodora Fries, R. jundzillii Besser, R. rubiginosa L., R. sherardii Davies, R. tomentosa Sm., R. villosa L. and R. zalana Wiesb. Flavonoid content was determined spectrophotometrically, and organic acid concentrations by HPLC. The content of the studied compounds varied greatly. Interspecific differences in the amount of flavonoids and ascorbic acid were highly significant. The most common species, Rosa canina, showed low average content of vitamin C (0.51 g/100 g of dry matter) and flavonoids (41 mg/100 g DM) and high content of citric acid (3.48 g/100 g DM). Ascorbic acid was highest in R. villosa hips (avg. 2.25 g/100 g DM), flavonoids were highest in R. rubiginosa (72 mg/100 g DM), and citric acid was highest in R. tomentosa (4.34 g/100 g DM). Flavonoid level correlated negatively with the amount of citric acid (r=-0.47, p<0.001). Cluster analysis of rose species based on the content of the investigated compounds confirmed the validity of the division of sect. Caninae into three subsections: Rubiginosae, Vestitae and Rubrifoliae. The phytochemical variation of these roses reflects their probable phylogenetic relationships as determined from morphology.
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