Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cherokee Rose, Rosier Blanc de Neige, Snow-White Rose
Rosa laevigata

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rosa (RO-zuh) (Info)
Species: laevigata (lee-vih-GAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Rosa nivea

» View all varieties of Roses

One vendor has this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Bloom Color:
White (w)

Bloom Shape:

Flower Fragrance:
Slightly Fragrant

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Trained to climb

Patent Information:

Other Details:
Stems are moderately thorny
Sets hips

Pruning Instructions:
Blooms on old wood; prune after flowering
Avoid pruning

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
By grafting
By budding

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There are a total of 12 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive amallen On Sep 19, 2013, amallen from Johns Island, SC wrote:

We first "discovered" this plant on a kayaking trip deep into a black water swamp in South Carolina. I bought one from a local nursery even though the manager told me to be careful where I planted it because once it got going it would be impossible to stop. I planted it on the sunny side at the base of a very tall pine and put hardware cloth around it to keep the deer off. I also loosely tied the canes to the tree to encourage climbing. I fed it the first year and then left it completely on its own. Eleven years later with no help from me it is now fifty feet up the tree and spreading into other pines as well. Spring bloom is spectacular but now I have to figure out how to bring it under control. I'm sure I could get more bloom with pruning which I have yet to do. The giant thorns do make it a nasty plant to work with.

It loves the SC Low Country where we live so if you've got the room plant one and stand back!

Positive HolyChickin On May 10, 2010, HolyChickin from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I recently visited GA and saw this rose growing in a high Victorian home's garden. I was told some of the roses in the garden was planted by the original owner in the late 1800's... I fell in love with them! SO, I bought one and currently have it in a pot (as I do all my roses). It seems to be doing okay thus far. It's looking a little sad and sparce after it's trip in a box some weeks ago but, it's still kickin'! I also took a few cuttings and am hoping they will sprout for my Aunt and a friend that lives in TN. They both want one.

I read that Cherokee Roses CAN live in FL... but, I have never seen them this far South. It's unbelievably HOT down here (it was 94 yesterday and we are only in the beginning of May) so I hope the heat doesn't effect it. It might not even bloom because it's perpetual Summer down here. Thankfully it is in a pot, so if it gets too bad I can move it into the shade. We will see!

Recently, I got infested with spidermites every rose I have EXCEPT the Cherokee got it. The Cherokee is resistant to pretty much everything!! **is amazed** It's got dark green/glossy leaves, and is climbing like a champ! Can't wait till it blooms!

Well here it is late April, 2011 and not one bloom or bud. I really do not think this thing is going to bloom for me at all. Bummer because the blooms is what I have been waiting for. Basically I have this massive, excessively thorny (the thorns are WAY nasty too), old garden rose that refuses to bloom. If anyone has any information to help me out, I would appreciate it!

Positive Sasha24641 On May 29, 2008, Sasha24641 from Richlands, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have this wildrose growing in my backyard, and side yard. It's a native shrub here in southwestern Virginia. Yes, it can be invasive, but the fragrance from this Rose makes it worth keeping contained!! When in full bloom, it is so beautiful. See my photo.

Neutral CutNGlass On Jun 24, 2007, CutNGlass from Hendersonville, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Make sure you have this and not an invasive which can be mistaken for this -- we had several wild roses very similar to this on our property. One was growing up into and nearly killing a dogwood tree (keeping all sunlight from it. Base of that rose was so large that I could not cut it with even my largest limb lopper -- had to use a chain saw! Note: that one bloomed in spring, so it's description matches the cherokee rose more closely than the mccartney rose. I am unsure if it was yet another similar one, so I put this comment as "neutral" rather than "negative"

Controversial as to if invasive or not - check on what it is like WHERE YOU ARE AT
While it is the State Flower of Georgia, it has been reported to be invasive in other areas.

"The 'Cherokee Rose' is often confused with Rosa bracteata (Macartney Rose) which is similar in form, but is so prolific that its rampant growth places it in the category of pest. 'Macartney Rose' flowers in summer, while the Cherokee Rose flowers in spring.
"The 'Cherokee Rose' is a climber which blooms once a year, bearing large, white flowers, each with five petals. It is vigorous, climbing upwards of 20 feet. Make sure that you have plenty of room for this historic, yet non-native and thankfully, non-invasive rose."

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Cherokee Rose, Rosier Blanc de Neige, Snow-White Rose Rosa laevigata is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Jun 27, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Some folklore I once read, (or perhaps it was an accurate historical factoid), about this plant is that it was brought to the Americas by the colonists. They used is as a deer break around their gardens. It grows very densely under the right conditions. The thorns are so sharp that deer won't walk through it, and it can grow high enough that the deer can't jump over it (though it is hard for me to believe that there is anything that deer can't jump!).

Those of you with deer problems may want to go back to one of our nation's oldest method of deer control. In its single, annual Springtime blooming period, the Cherokee Rose is an amazing mass of flat, white flowers. I used it as the subject for one of my oil paintings.

It can be propagated by rooting pruned cuttings from the stems. I usually have the best luck with taking the most tender part of the stem toward the stem tip, dipping the tip in a root stimulating hormone, and placing it in moist soil and keeping the soil evenly moist. New leaves beginnig to appear on the stem are a good indicator that the pruned stem is taking root. (I use this method with a lot of my roses).

My current Cherokee Rose has an interesting (I think) story:
Soon after I bought my house in February three years ago, I saw Cherokee Rose blooming profusely at a nearby house on a corner that was on my way to the grocery store. I greatly admired the rose, and would slow down to view it on each trip to the store. The Cherokee Rose had intertwined in a chain link fence and had completely covered the fence for a span of about 30 feet.

Soon afterwards, the house with the Cherokee Rose went up for sale and was empty. I couldn't resist the opportunity to pilfer (or propagate, in my justification). I was able to dig up some of the smaller rooted stems from around the perimeter of the fence. I was successful in getting these to grow and shared some with a friend. We both now have stunning displays of Cherokee Rose.

When the house sold, the new owners totally eradicated the Cherokee Rose! I was heartsick at losing this Springtime eye candy, and was very glad I had overcome my scruples and decided to pilfer the rose.

Not long ago, I was at the grocery store and happened to run into a friend of about 20 years that I hadn't seen in a very long time. As it turned out, he lived in the same neighborhood as did I! We chatted a while and he mentioned that he once owned the house on the corner from the grocery store, but that he had sold it in order to move into another nearby house that had been left to him by a woman for whom he provided care in her final years. I asked him if his former corner house had been the house with the Cherokee Rose, and he answered "Yes!" He went on to tell me how he had found the rose growing near our airport and that it had reached the very top of some old oak trees. He had climbed to the top of the trees in a precarious scramble in order to get some stem cuttings of the rose, which he successfully grew all along the chain link fence at his former house. He commented on how proud he had been of the rose display and we both bemoaned the new owners' decision to rip the Cherokee Rose out by the roots and destroy it.

But the good news was that I had saved some of his "heirloom" rose and that I would be able to provide him a rooted cutting so that he could start the Cherokee Rose again at his new house! He was ecstatic!

Ain't it amazin' how coincidipities intersect our lives in so many fascinating ways! (coincidipities = a word I coined to describe serendipitious coincidences).


Positive berrygirl On Apr 24, 2005, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Mine is in full glorious bloom right now!!! Wish I had a digicam to post a pic.
I got this as a bare-root plant last spring and this is it's first year to bloom. It has really grown on the fence as well.
So far it has been worry-free and healthy.

Edited to say that it is now almost Christmas and this rose appears to be evergreen! It is as green as it was in the spring.

Positive vanity1220 On May 28, 2004, vanity1220 from Woodville, TX wrote:

I live in Southeast Texas and this flower grows beautifully here. I never knew very much about it; so your site has been very helpful. Thank You

Positive patp On May 25, 2003, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

This beautiful native climbing rose blooms in early April in Summerville, South Carolina (U.S.), where winter temperatures rarely fall below 10F. It climbs trees in the woods by means of numerous, VERY SHARP thorns, but it must be tied upward if transplanted to a yard setting. Blooms are spectacular!

Positive patcox On May 24, 2003, patcox from Carrollton, GA wrote:

Mounding bush to 5 ft. or climber to 15 ft., the Cherokee Rose is the state flower of Georgia. I found it easy to grow and maintain as a teen on our mailbox (it protected the mailbox from "bashers"), so I would say it is easy to grow.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Red Bay, Alabama
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Bartow, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Carrollton, Georgia
Hoschton, Georgia
Roswell, Georgia
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Mandeville, Louisiana
Clear Lake, Minnesota
Jayess, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Coos Bay, Oregon
Aiken, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Johns Island, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Bay City, Texas
Center, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Orange, Texas
Charlottesville, Virginia
Petersburg, Virginia
Richlands, Virginia

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