Cherokee Rose

The Cherokee Rose, scientifically known as rosa laevigata, is a white, fragrant rose that is a native to southern China and Taiwan and is considered an invasive species in the United States.

The Cherokee Rose is the state flower of Georgia and is most commonly associated with The Trail of Tears, the forced evacuation of Native Americans in the southeastern United States. The legend of the Cherokee Rose comes from the Trail of Tears started in 1838, when mothers of the Cherokee were grieving and mourning so much that they were unable to aid their children in surviving the harsh journey. In response to the elders' prayers for a sign of hope, the next day a beautiful rose began to grow when each of the mothers' tears fell. The color of the petals are white for the tears, the gold center represents the gold taken from Cherokee lands, and the seven leaves on the stems each stand for one of the seven Cherokee clans.[1]


the son would recall later how he had seen through the window beyond his father's head the sister and the lover in the garden...they placed slowly on in that rhythm which not the eyes but the heart marks and calls the beat and measure for, to disappear slowly beyond some bush or shrub starred with white bloom --- jasmine, spiraea, honeysuckle, perhaps myriad scentless unpickable Cherokee roses --- names, blooms which Shreve possible had never heard and never seen although the air had blown over him first which became tempered to nourish them

- AA, 236

Works Cited

[1] Sullivan, Dorothy. “Legend of the Cherokee Rose.” The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston. 1996. (http://www.powersource.com/cherokee/rose.html)