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Cherokee Rose


The Cherokee Rose is often overlooked as a symbol of the state of Georgia for the peach, the state fruit. The Center for Georgia Studies decided to incorporate the Cherokee Rose into our logo because it offers something new and unique.

The Cherokee Rose became Georgia 's official state "floral emblem" by virtue of a joint resolution of the General Assembly and approved by Governor Nathaniel Harris on Aug. 18, 1916 . The Cherokee Rose was selected as state flower because it has come to represent the removal of the Cherokee from the state in 1838 on what is now known as the "Trail of Tears." The white petals represent the clans of the Cherokee and the yellow center represents the gold for which the land was stolen. The Cherokee Rose still grows along the route the Cherokees followed westward to the Oklahoma Territory .

A high-climbing shrub, the wild Cherokee Rose frequently has stems up to 20 feet long. It is excessively thorny and has plentiful vivid green leaves. Each blossom is borne singly on a lateral branch. The Cherokee Rose has a short blooming season in late March and April. The fruit is pear-shaped and bristly. It can occasionally be found growing along roadsides, on fences, and waste places in the Coastal Plains and Piedmont of the deep South. Its blooming time is in the early spring but favorable conditions will produce a second flowering in the fall of the year. In color, this luxurious rose is a waxy white with a large golden center. The petals are of an exquisite velvety texture. Because of its hardy nature, the plant is well adapted to hedge purposes and has been used extensively in this fashion throughout the South.

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