Great-grandma’s rose

This rose is beautiful but it has most wicked thorns.

After having dinner at my second-cousin’s house one evening, we were strolling around her beautifully landscaped yard when I spotted the thorniest rose canes I had ever seen.  I almost thought it might even be some sort of noxious weed, the canes were so evil looking.  “What in the world is that?” I asked.

“Those are Great-Grandma’s roses,” she replied.

My Grandma was one to keep plants (especially flowers and roses—see previous post) in the family so I was surprised that not only had I never seen this rose, but also that I did not have it in my own garden.   I told my cousin and my great aunt (Grandma’s sister) that I had never seen it.   My cousin didn’t miss a beat; she simply went to the tool shed and got a pot and a shovel.

We went home with a new plant.

I have tried to research this rose and have come up with a few different names.  It obviously is an heirloom variety.  So far I have found that it may be a “Harison’s Rose” or a “Yellow Rose of Texas.”  Either way, it is said to have been brought from New York state to the Midwest and beyond on wagon trains.  My great-grandmother did make the land run and was a homesteader in our state.  I like to believe that she brought this rose with her.

This rose only blooms once but it is covered with beautiful yellow flowers for at least part of April.

I hope one day I can invite a nephew, niece, or goddaughter over when they start “house keeping.”  (That is a phrase directly from my grandma.)  I will provide the shovels and the pots for them and  I will narrate the tale of each precious plant as they dig them up to take them to a new home.

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