South Carolina History & Culture Of The Rose

state shape flag for history & culture of the rose in South Carolina

The rose has been an important part of the world’s history and culture for centuries, even in South Carolina. The state is home to a variety of roses, including antique and heritage roses, which are known for their ease of maintenance and fragrant blooms. These roses have played a significant role in the state’s horticultural heritage and continue to be celebrated today.

One of the most famous roses associated with South Carolina is the Noisette rose. French botanist Philippe Noisette developed this variety in Charleston in the early 19th century. This rose is famous for its delicate pink blooms and sweet fragrance. Moreover, many consider it a heritage rose, and celebrate the Noisette rose throughout the state.

In addition to the Noisette rose, South Carolina is home to a variety of other roses. This includes the Tea rose, which was introduced to the state in the mid-19th century. These roses have been an important part of the state’s horticultural heritage. They continue to be celebrated today through events like the Charleston Rose Society’s annual rose show.

Historical Roots

According to the history of South Carolina, the rose has a special place in the state’s culture. Its records date back to the early 1700s when French Huguenot immigrants brought the first cultivated roses to the state. Since then, South Carolina has become a hub for rose enthusiasts, with multiple rose societies and gardens dedicated to their preservation and cultivation. Here’s a list of local rose societies in South Carolina:

One of the most notable roses in South Carolina is the Noisette rose. This rose was first bred, evaluated, and introduced to the world by the United States in the early 1800s, making it the first class of roses to originate from the country. The Noisette rose was named after its creator, John Champneys, who crossed the ancient pink Chinese rose, Old Blush, with the centuries-old cluster-flowered European musk rose to produce the most attractive traits of both roses.

Another popular rose in South Carolina is the Carolina rose, a native prairie rose often spotted on train tracks, in thickets, and by the roadside. It’s a tough, hardy, and very pollinator-friendly rose, making it a popular choice for gardeners in the state.

South Carolina also has a rich history of rose societies, with the South Carolina Rose Society being one of the oldest and most active in the country. The society was affiliated with the American Rose Society to further interest in roses in South Carolina. The society’s records consist of bulletins listing members, officers, and information relating to the care of roses, dating back to 1954.

Cultural Significance

Roses have been an important part of South Carolina’s culture for centuries. The state’s official flower is the yellow jessamine. However, roses are still widely grown and appreciated for their beauty and symbolism.

In the early 20th century, South Carolina was home to several prominent rose breeders, including John Champneys. His work helped popularize roses in the state and beyond, and many of their varieties are still grown today.

Roses have also played a role in the state’s history. During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers often wore rosebuds on their lapels as a symbol of their cause. In more recent times, roses have been used to honor veterans and fallen soldiers.

South Carolina is home to several public rose gardens. Some of them include the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia and the Edisto Memorial Gardens. These gardens showcase a wide variety of roses, from classic hybrid teas to modern shrub roses.

Economic Impact

South Carolina’s rose industry is a significant contributor to the state’s economy. The industry includes commercial growers, nurseries, and garden centers, which contribute to the state’s agricultural economy. Roses are grown throughout the state, with the majority of production concentrated in the upstate region.

South Carolina’s climate and soil conditions are favorable for growing roses, making it an ideal location for commercial rose production. The state’s rose industry produces a variety of roses, including hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, and miniatures. The state’s rose growers also produce a range of rose-related products, including rose water, rose oil, and rose petal jam.

South Carolina’s rose industry has faced challenges in recent years, including competition from foreign growers and rising production costs. However, the industry has remained resilient, with growers continuing to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions.

Artistic & Literary Influence

Roses have played a significant role in the art and literature of South Carolina. The state has a rich history of rose cultivation, dating back to the 18th century. Due to its favorable climate and soil, South Carolina became a hub for rose cultivation in the United States. This led to the creation of a unique rose culture in the state, which is reflected in its art and literature.

In South Carolina literature, roses are often used as a symbol of beauty, love, and passion. In the poem “Bread and Roses”, the protagonist, Ida Becker, who lives in South Carolina has a rose soulmark that symbolizes love.

Similarly, in South Carolina art, roses are often depicted as a symbol of beauty and elegance. The artist, Nancy Hoerter, was known for her paintings of roses and other flowers. Her works capture the beauty and fragility of the flowers and are considered a significant contribution to the art of South Carolina.

In addition to their symbolic significance, roses have also been used as a subject of study in South Carolina art and literature. The Charleston Horticultural Society, for example, has a dedicated rose garden, which serves as a source of inspiration for many local artists and writers.


Overall, the history of roses in South Carolina is a testament to the state’s love for these beautiful and fragrant flowers. Whether it’s the Noisette rose, the Carolina rose, or any other variety, South Carolina’s rose culture continues to thrive and inspire gardeners and rose enthusiasts alike. Moreover, the rose continues to be an important part of the culture and history of South Carolina. Whether grown in private gardens or public spaces, they are a beloved symbol of beauty and elegance. The rose industry is also a crucial part of South Carolina’s agricultural economy, providing jobs and economic benefits to the state. Likewise, roses have played a significant role in the art and literature of South Carolina. Their beauty, symbolism, and cultural significance have been celebrated by artists and writers throughout the state’s history.

state shape flag for history & culture of the rose in South Carolina


Visit Store

From Clothes & Apparel To Home Décor & Accessories. Free Returns. Unique Designs. Worldwide Shipping.