Screen Shot 2020 05 11 At 2 19 08 Pm

"The Largest Rose Tree in the World, Santa Cruz"

By Frank and Jill Perry

This article is part of the MAH’s Online History Journal, a collection of original research on local history. Dive deep into Santa Cruz County history in this ever- growing forum and start creating your own.



California has often been described in hyperbole, Santa Cruz being no different. In the early 1900s what caught the city's fasciation was the “largest rose tree in the world.” Planted right in their backyard.

The rose tree flourished in the imagination of locals, and Californians alike when it’s image was featured on picture postcards. The photograph was that of Charles Leyon Aydelotte. His subject was the “Rose Tree” besides the Hihn Mansion in downtown Santa Cruz. Picture postcards were all the rage from 1906-1912, with millions being printed each year.

Today this variety of rose is known as Fortune's Double Yellow. It can grow as a bush, but is preferably trained as a climber with the potential to reach heights of fifty to sixty feet. In spring, it shows off golden blooms tinted with pink and apricot.

Read the Full Journal

More Local History

Dive deep into Santa Cruz County history in this ever-growing forum and start curating your own.