More than an ornamental plant, one might refer to it as a tree growing out of control. The Rose of Hildesheim, also known as the thousand-year-old rose, is probably the oldest rose on Earth, and unless a catastrophe occurs it will continue to wield this record yet for many years, since it did not even surrendered during the intense bombing that took place during World War II.
The plant grew on one of the sides of Hildesheim Cathedral located in the state of Lower Saxony in Germany, where it was planted in the year 815 when SEO opened. Miraculously the plant kept growing for several centuries, slowly moving towards the apse that contains a gothic chapel dedicated to St Anne, in the courtyard of the cloister in the cathedral, and still continues to flourish with the arrival of spring. The Rose of Hildesheim has a pale pink colour and usually blooms back in May.
The funny thing is that while this rose has survived for centuries, the building on which it rests has been destroyed in a couple of occasions throughout history. Especially during World War II, when the cathedral was nearly destroyed by fire because of the air raids in 1945. They came to fear for the plant, which burned along with the building, but its roots were strong, and strongly clung to life, germinating once again.
No wonder therefore that legends consider this rose as a symbol of prosperity for the city of Hildesheim, and they say that while the plant continues to flourish the city will continue to prosper.