Cherokee Rose

Rosa laevigata

Cherokee Rose Rosa laevigata is an evergreen shrub or high climbing vine native to China and brought to the U.S. in the late 1800s as an ornamental. Cherokee Rose is classified by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries as a Tier I invasive species defined as “currently causing severe or widespread negative impacts on wildlife or natural communities in Louisiana”. It occurs in Louisiana as widely scattered populations along streams and sunny forest edges; in savannas, rangelands, pastures, and utility right-of-ways.

Cherokee Rose is an aggressive colonizer of sunny openings; therefore, likely to spread into forest canopy gaps and hinder forest regeneration. Birds consume the fruit and help to disperse the plants. It is admired for its prolific white flowers in the Spring, but generally not available in nurseries.

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