The arboritum with Rosa laevigata

The plant of the week is definitely Rosa laevigata, the Cherokee Rose, known locally, rather confusingly, as the Dog Rose. Just to the right of a young Cedar of Lebanon in the centre of the above picture it is trying to outgrow, of all things, a Sequoia sempervirens, the tallest tree in the world which marks the highest point of our arboretum.

Dad in the arboritum

Here my father, on his first visit to Sequoia as a house guest and not as the host, stands next to this precocious rose. It is a Chinese rose which likes warm climates (which ours is) but doesn’t flower too well in a frosty climate. (Someone neglected to tell our roses.) It is evergreen with very bright green foliage and flowers in early spring. Grown as a bush it soon makes a huge rounded shrub, easily 3m across and high, building on a dense base of extremely prickly dead branches. Impenetrable and unremovable. Given the opportunity it becomes a scrambling climber up to 10m. Ten meters? Obviously this rose which found the sequoia doesn’t read. There are about 5 bushes in a row, forming at this season a wall of pure white single flowers on a solidly green background; a particularly clean composition.

Rosa laevigata

We have some years brought into the house, with great care, a three meter wand and the  large and gorgeous flowers opened consecutively over several days, six or eight flowers displaying at a time. Truly impressive. Perhaps I should  fetch one again tomorrow…

Rosa laevigata close-up




  1. The tapestry of colors in the first photo creates an atmosphere of pure magic. The Cherokee rose is stunning. Its size gives it a wonderful presence, that’s for sure, and lends a sense of romance and history to the entire space.

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