Tombstone Rose Tree Museum


Home to Tombstone’s Shady Lady, The World’s Largest Rose Bush


Dorothy Devere tells the story of Tombstone’s Shady Lady, the World’s Largest Rose Bush that spans over 9000 square feet, with a trunk that’s 16 feet in circumference on Big Blend Radio.


In 1885, Scottish newlyweds Henry and Mary Gee temporarily lived at the Cochise House Hotel in Tombstone, Arizona, the mining town where the notorious O. K. Corral gun battle occurred. One of Tombstone’s oldest adobe buildings, the House was built and run by Amelia Adamson. When the Gee’s moved into their permanent home, Mary planted a garden using some of the rose and shrub cuttings her family had sent her from Scotland. From these cuttings, Mary gave a white Lady Banksias Rose to her friend Amelia, and together they planted it in the back patio area of the House.

The rose didn’t cringe at the desert heat, it seemed to love it, and by the mid-1930s, the bush had grown into a tree-like structure that was declared “The World’s Largest Rose” by Robert Ripley in his Believe it or Not newspaper column.

Today, covering over 9,000 square feet with a trunk that is 16 feet in circumference, The Shady Lady is supported by iron trellises and wooden poles. It’s no wonder that she is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Rose Bush. You will find her standing tall and stretching wide in the back garden of what is now the Tombstone Rose Tree Museum. Her spring bloom is honored annually in April during the Tombstone Rose Tree Festival, a celebration that boasts a parade, pancake walk, music and family activities.

The Tombstone Rose Tree Museum also features a fascinating collection of historic artifacts and memorabilia of Tombstone’s yesteryear. Located at 4th and Toughnut Streets, in Tombstone, the museum is open daily. Tel: (520) 457-3326 or visit


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