This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Christian Advocate tells the following story, which we record, as we usually do in such cases, more as a matter of news than as a genuine legend. It is a misfortune that there is no way by which a genuine legend can be distinguished from a newspaper lie; but for the credit of the newspaper name from which we quote, we will hope that there is such a legend afloat, and that the story was not expressly manufactured for its columns.
It may be remarked, in passing, that the origin of the Cherokee rose on this continent is enshrouded in mystery. It was found by Michaux in the South, but has never been found wild since his time. It is hardly believed to be a native rose, though by analogy with some other rare Southern plants, it might be. It has Asiatic relatives:
"The legend of the Cherokee rose is as pretty as the flower itself. An Indian chief of the Seminole tribe was taken prisoner by his enemies the Cherokees, and doomed to torture, but became so seriously ill that it became necessary to wait for the restoration to health before committing him to the fire. As he lay prostrated by disease in the cabin of the Cherokee warrior, the daughter of the latter, a young, dark-faced maid, was his nurse. She fell in love with the young chieftain, and wishing to save his life, urged him to escape; but he would not do so unless she would flee with him. Yet before she had gone far, impelled by soft regret at leaving home, she asked permission of her lover to return for the purpose of bearing away some memento of it. So, retracing her footsteps, she broke a sprig from the white rose which climbed up the poles of her father's tent, and preserving it during her flight through the wilderness, planted it by the door of her new home in the land of the Seminole. And from that day this beautiful flower has always been known between the capes of Florida and throughout the Southern States by the name of Cherokee rose".