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Botanical Name : Rosa laevigata
Species: R. laevigata
Common Name :Cherokee Rose
Habitat : Rosa laevigata is native to E. Asia – Southern China from Sichuan and Hubei to Taiwan. It grows on the rocky places at low altitudes. In open fields, farmland, or in scrub at elevations of 200 – 1600 metres. This rose has naturalized across much of the southeastern United States.
This evergreen climbing rose produces long, thorny, vinelike canes that will form a mound 10-12 ft (3-3.7 m) in height and about 15 ft (4.6 m) wide. This rose is often seen sprawling across adjacent shrubs and other supports that it employs to climb to even greater heights. The pure white single flowers are 3.5-4 in (9-10 cm) in diameter and appear in spring. They are densely arranged along the length of the canes that form garlands of blossoms. The fruit of the Cherokee rose is called a hip and is large compared to other members of the rose family being 1.5-2 in (4-5 cm)long by 0.5-1 in (1-2.5 cm) wide. Cherokee rose has attractive evergreen compound leaves composed of three leaflets with the center leaflet larger than its partners. The glossy light green leaflets are oval shaped with a pointed tip and range from 1-3.5 in (2.5-9 cm)long and 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) wide. The flower stem is also very bristly.
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The Cherokee rose’s fast growth rate and long stems armed with large hooked thorns make it an effective screening and barrier plant. It’s a useful addition to natural areas where it will shoot long arching stems that will string themselves vinelike through tree branches and shrubs. Grow on trellises, fences or tree trunks or plant in an open area where it will grow into a large mound. Rather than trim the plant into a mound, let the canes grow long so they can weave white springtime garlands through adjacent shrubbery. Cherokee rose is very happy in waterside situations where it can cast shimmering reflections upon still surfaces.
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a circumneutral soil and a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes water-logged soils. A very ornamental plant, but it is not very hardy in Britain and only succeeds outside in the warmer parts of the country. It can be cut back to the ground even in southern England in cold winters, though it will usually resprout from the base. It is the state flower of Georgia and is also the parent of several modern garden cultivars. The flowers have a clove-like fragrance. If any pruning is necessary then this should be carried out immediately after the plant has finished flowering. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Grows badly with boxwood. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation: Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 – 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 – 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested ‘green’ (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c. It may take 2 years to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 – 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months.
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.
Fruit – raw or cooked. The pear-shaped fruit is up to 4cm long, but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds. Sugar can be extracted from the fruit, it is also used to ferment rose wine. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs.
The leaves are a famous vulnerary. The fruits, root and leaves stabilize the kidney. A decoction is used in the treatment of chronic dysentery, urinary tract infections, wet dreams, prolapse of the uterus, menstrual irregularities and traumatic injuries. The root bark is astringent and used in the treatment of diarrhea and menorrhagia. The dried fruits are used internally in the treatment of urinary dysfunction, infertility, seminal emissions, urorrhea, leucorrhea and chronic diarrhea. The root is used in the treatment of uteral prolapse. The flowers are used in the treatment of dysentery and to restore hair cover. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
Known Hazards: There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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