Laevigatae roses, also known as Cherokee roses, are a category of climbing roses that originated in China. The Cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata) is the most well-known and widely cultivated species in this category, although there are a few other lesser-known species that are also classified as Laevigatae roses.
The flowers of Laevigatae roses are typically large, white or pink, and have a single or semi-double form. The plants are vigorous climbers and can grow up to 20 feet tall, making them ideal for covering walls, trellises, and fences. They are also fairly disease-resistant and low-maintenance.
Laevigatae roses have a significant cultural and historical importance in China, where they have been cultivated for over a thousand years. In Chinese folklore, the Cherokee rose is known as the “flower of love and beauty,” and is said to symbolize purity, peace, and prosperity. The Cherokee rose is also the official state flower of Georgia in the United States, where it was introduced in the late 1700s and quickly became naturalized.
Some popular cultivars of Laevigatae roses include ‘Anemoneflora’, which has semi-double pink flowers; ‘Plena’, which has double white flowers; and ‘Semiplena’, which has semi-double white flowers.