The Thousand-Year Rose

Rose of Hildesheim

The Rose of Hildesheim, known as the Thousand-Year Rose, is said to be the oldest living rose on earth. Growing up the side of a columnar portion of Germany’s Hildesheim Cathedral, the Rosa Canina (dog rose) bush is thought to have been planted in the early 800s when the church itself was founded. The plant, reaching to a height of 33 feet, still produces pale pink flowers once a year (in May). It was nearly completely razed during World War II when Allied bombs annihilated the cathedral. Every bit of the plant above ground was destroyed, but from the rubble, new branches grew from the root that survived.