Heritage Rose Trail

Heritage Rose Trail

Charleston’s horticultural history began with 16th-century explorers. By the time the English arrived in the 17th-century, reports of the Lowcountry’s rich flora had already been circulating throughout Europe.  The naturalists Mark Catesby and John Bartram visited in the 18th century and increased botanical knowledge in the area. Dr. Alexander Garden, who practiced medicine in Charleston, made important contributions to plant identification. He is most remembered for the gardenia named in his honor by Linnaeus, the famous Swedish botanist who established the modern system of plant classification.

Sometime around 1802, John Champneys, a Charleston planter, crossed Rosa Chinensis (Old Blush) and Rosa Moschata, a white musk rose to create Champneys’Pink Cluster. This created America’s first hybridized rose. It was given to his friend and neighbor, Philippe Noisette, a French botanist, and a more refined rose was hybridized, eventually named Blush Noisette. Philippe sent the rose to his brother, Louis Claude, a nurseryman and member of the Noisette family who were gardeners to French nobility. Pierre Joseph Redoute, the famous botanical artist, included in his paintings of early 19th enturay roses one labeled “Rosa Noisettiana” and “Rosier de Philippe Noisette.” The name, Noisette, spread throughout the world by way of the painting. Today, the Noisettes with their delicate blossoms, pastel colors and mesmerizing scents mix well with the Lowcountry’s legendary flowering shrubs to create the memorable gardens of Charleston.

The Noisette Roses are vigorous plants with a profusion of blooms. They are also tough enough to take the heat of the southern summer and the vagaries of the southern winter. Also, the Noisettes have remarkable resistance to disease as well as a high recovery rate. The Heritage Rose Trail was created for the Ninth International Heritage Rose Conference which was held in Charleston in 2001. The roses are a gift in perpetuity to the citizens of Charleston.  Purchase now.



The Charleston Horticultural Society

Contact us at (843) 579-9922 or info@chashortsoc.org

The Charleston Horticultural Society (CHS), founded in 2000, is a non-profit organization with membership open to all. The Society offers a wide array of horticultural information and involvement to its more than 1,300 individual and business members through lectures, educational workshops, garden tours, special events, and publications.