Rose Types

Cherokee Rose 

The 'Cherokee Rose' (Rosa laevigata) was originally a rose indigenous to southern China and Taiwan, and found further south to Lass and Vietnam. The Cherokee rose was likely introduced to North America through connections from England, and has been reported to have been present in US gardens from as early as the year 1759. From initial introductions into woodland areas, this hardy and adaptable plant escaped over the years to places extending from the Carolinas to Texas. The Cherokee Indians are also credited with the rose's wide distribution, weaving it into their teachings and institutions. The 'Cherokee Rose' is currently known as the official flower of the state of Georgia and was originally described in botanical terms from a specimen growing in that state.

Cherokee Rose - Appearance

Cherokee RoseAt nearly 5 feet, the 'Cherokee Rose' is a mounding bush, or a thickly foliaged climber, often seen scrambling over shrubs and small trees. It can grow up to 15 feet in height with neat 1 to 3 inch glossy leaves in the color of green apples. White fragrant flowers with bristly stems appear in the spring and have a diameter of 3 to 6 inches with yellow stamens. Bristly bright red hips follow these which are about 1 inch in diameter. After flowering, they reveal star shaped sepals after simply dropping their petals. As the 'Cherokee Rose' does not sucker (unlike the 'Macartney Rose', with which it is often confused), it is one of the most excellent ones for naturalizing in the South. In exchange for very minimal care, the evergreen 'Cherokee Rose' offers an outstanding display of its flowers and foliage throughout the year.

As the Cherokee blooms at the same time and in related naturalistic areas as the dogwood, it may be confused by people unfamiliar with it. Nonetheless, the grand display of white flowers surrounding golden centers is actually exceptional on closer scrutiny of this evergreen vine.

Cherokee Rose - Uses

The Cherokee rose can be used to effortlessly fashion a screen to cover a trellis or a fencerow because of its climbing nature. The Cherokee makes an excellent barrier plant due to its rapid growth rate and expected spiny thorns befitting a rose. It will form a mound about the size of a small truck if it is used as a specimen!

Placing this rose carefully is quite important however because it will trail across other trees, shrubs and vines as well, potentially choking out their growth and rapidly dominating the area. The Cherokee will survive in both dry and wet conditions through its adaptability to many types of soil. Yet, well-drained fertile soil brings out the best in the 'Cherokee Rose'.

A distinctive advantage of this plant is a great resistance to pests. The Cherokee is also a useful plant for use in naturalizing open spaces; in particular, birds enjoy the large hips produced by the Cherokee and wildlife can flourish in the cover it provides.

To expand your plantings, either divide the root ball or take small cuttings - the Cherokee is propagated easily and takes to new planting areas without much difficulty.