The Cherokee Rose grows wild across all the Southeastern US. It normally is seen as a climbing vine attached to trees (often 20 feet or more) and draping down with beautiful white flowers with golden centers. It blooms in early spring and the blooms only last a couple weeks. It is a true rose with thorns typical of most roses.
We do not own any of these plants but they are very common in this area. I found numerous plants on the side of the roads. I was able to get close to this particular plant and get some close-up pictures of the blooms.
For more information about the Cherokee Rose, visit the plant profile page on the USDA website here. If you decide to acquire one of these plants, be careful about placement – it can be invasive.
History of the Cherokee Rose
Some may wonder how this plant, which is native to China, could be named after the Cherokee (Native American Indian) tribe. The Mississippi State University website offers a bit of history on the Cherokee Rose here.
The University of South Florida website includes an article about the forced re-location of the native Cherokee tribes (commonly called “The trail of tears”). The legend says that, during the march, the Cherokee mothers cried so much that they were unable to care for their children. The chiefs prayed for a sign to encourage the mothers and the white rose grew from the places where their tears fell.