White blooms of the Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata) are a common sight along southeastern Louisiana roadways in early March. A native of southeast Asia, in the United States it is an invasive species. It has thrived in the southern US since its introduction here long ago (~1780), and was adopted as the state flower of Georgia in 1916.
Cherokee Rose climbs aggressively over other vegetation forming dense mounds of thorny canes. So, even though its springtime bloom is impressive, it is not always welcome in the landscape.
The name Cherokee Rose comes from its association with the Trail of Tears, the route taken by Cherokees and other native tribes when they were forcibly relocated to the west from the southeastern US.