'Rosa laevigata Michx.' rose References
Article (newspaper) (Apr 2008) Page(s) 10. Includes photo(s).
Patricia Routley: Twenty or so years ago, Ruth and Jim Farley at Southern Blueberries had the entire eastern wall of their house covered with a stunning white climbing rose. It was Rosa laevigata (the Cherokee Rose) It has gone from there now and these days I get my spring kick from the sight of it dripping out from trees at Alison and Robert Daubney’s house on Muirillup Road as I pass by in the car. This rose came from the lowland areas of Southern China and a dried specimen sent from there in 1705 is still preserved in the British Museum. In 1803 The French botanist Andre Michaux described it in his ‘Flora boreali-Americana’ as growing in shady woods in Georgia, USA and how it got from China to America in those early centuries is still unknown (but I do like Gavin Menzies theory of the flotilla of Chinese junks floating around the world in 1421.) There are a couple of wonderful stories attached to this rose. In 1820 an American farmer wrote to a newspaper praising R. laevigata as a wonderful plant for landowners to use as hedges and field boundaries, and he offered to supply cuttings free of charge. The result was that cuttings were sent all over the southeastern states and to California, and some farmers planted them by the mile. They were even requested in Scotland, where the natives obviously found the free of charge offer irresistible. It grew so vigorously in Georgia, that it later became that state’s floral emblem. The other story is that the Cherokee Indian women used to wear one snowy white bloom in their long dark hair, and if I had black hair and was 22 again, I would too. It has been confused for decades with Rosa bracteata (the Macartney Rose) and that does have a similar large single white flower, but there are 8 or 9 small leaflets on the one leaf with R. bracteata. Rosa laevigata (the Cherokee Rose) usually has three leaflets but very occasionally it will produce five. Those smooth leaves gave the rose its name. They are glossy and highly polished and have no disease whatsoever, at any time – no black spot, no mildew – nothing! They are always the picture of health and are the perfect foil for those large pure white single flowers with their circlet of golden stamens. They do not occur in clusters, but singly, one flower to each leaf node on the lateral branches and so profuse they almost touch each other. It is one of the first roses to flower in early spring. Because of its pristine beauty, people have tried to breed from it for decades, but it is not the most obliging parent. However it is thought by some to have been the parent of R. fortuniana, the rootstock so favoured by Western Australians. R. fortuniana has inherited its vigour and those three leaflets (which you will also find in the R. banksiae roses). Jan Joddrell gave me my cutting and she had planted her rose alongside an old iron bed, thinking it would cover it with flowers. Because this is such a vigorous rose, I rather think it must have ended up a huge mound, and not a just bed of roses.
Article (misc) (2005) Page(s) 110, Table 5.1.
R. laevigata : diploid
Book (1 May 2003)
Rosa laevigata Michaux
Rosa laevigata f. laevigata T.T.Yu & T.C.Ku
syn. R.amygdalifolia Seringe; R. argy H. Leveille; R. cucumerina Trattinnick; ...R. nivea Chandolle; R. ternata Poiret; R. triphylla Roxburgh.
Shrubs evergreen, climbing to 5 m. Branchlets purple-brown...robust; prickles scattered, curved...flat; bristles glandular, dense on small stems...leaflets 3, rarely 4...leathery....Flower soliary, 5-10 cm in diam.; pedicel...densely glandular bristly....Hypanthium...densely glandular bristly. Petals 5 semi-double or double, white....Hip purple-brown, densely glandular bristly, with persistent, erect sepals. Flowers April-June, fruit July-November. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, S. Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Vietnam.
Two forms...f. laevigata ...has flowers single, 5-7 cm in diam....
Article (magazine) (2001) Page(s) 393.
R. laevigata Michx. Ploidy 2x
Pollen fertility 98.5%
Selfed Fruit set 0%
Book (2001) Page(s) 450.
Rosa laevigata Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Am. 1 (1803) 295.
Rosa sinica Aiton, Hort. kew. 2 (1789) 203, non L. (1774).
China; naturalized in some regions of North America.
Cultivated for the use of flowers in N Korea.
Ref.: Hammer et al. 1990, 173.
Book (Feb 1999) Page(s) 11.
R. laevigata... a Chinese species that has naturalized throughout the Southeast... large, white, single flowers...
Book (Nov 1998) Page(s) 13.
R. laevigata Hooked thorns. Flowers: single, large, white... Began its life in China. Known as the 'Cherokee Rose' in the southern US.
Book (May 1998) Page(s) 194, 195. Includes photo(s).
Page 194: Rosa nivea ('Snow-White Rose') Description... Flowers: single, scentless, petals rounded, very open, snow white... This rose is probably native to China and was introduced to Europe by Lord Macartney. (Thory considers it to be native to New Georgia in America, collected by Michaux and the same as R. laevigata of the Royal Garden.)...
Page 195: Illustration
Book (Mar 1998) Page(s) 10.
R. laevigata glossy, sem-evergreen leaves consisting of only three leaflets
Magazine (1998) Page(s) 116. Vol 92, part 4.
Dr. Tam Koolin. Three Wild Roses and Old Blushes in Coastal Fujian, South East China.
The first species to bloom was the deliciously scented R. laevigata....