Two banding patterns were revealed by phosphoglucomutase (PGM) isozyme analysis of 24 accessions of Cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata Michx.) from eight southeastern states, based on the presence (in 5 accessions) or absence (in 19 accessions) of an additional slow-migrating band. RAPD analysis of these accessions showed a corresponding division into the same two groups determined by PGM analysis, except for two accessions with unique RAPD phenotypes. Field-grown accessions showed distinguishing morphological characters corresponding to the groupings from the isozyme and RAPD analyses. Those in the predominant isozyme and RAPD groups, as well as the two with unique RAPD phenotypes, exhibited smooth lateral stems, while those in both nonpredominant groups exhibited markedly bristly laterals. These results suggest that the 24 accessions are ramets of two major clones with one clone predominating and that, contrary to long-standing belief, the Cherokee rose has not naturalized by reseeding in the southeast. PGM and RAPD analyses of putative Cherokee rose hybrids `Anemone' and `Silver Moon' showed that `Anemone' is likely to be such a hybrid but that `Silver Moon' is not. Historical records revealed that widespread vegetative propagation of the Cherokee rose was initiated in 1820-21 and that L. Wiesener, not J.C. Schmidt, was the originator of `Anemone'.
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