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Official State Flowers & Information

Alabama - Camellia

A bill introduced in the 1927 legislature by Representative T. E. Martin, Montgomery County, making the goldenrod the state flower, became a law on September 6, 1927. House Bill 124, approved August 26, 1959, amended Section 8, Title 55, of the Code of 1940, to read: "The camellia is hereby designated and named as the state flower of Alabama." (Acts 1927, No. 541.) In June 1999, the Legislature designated that the camellia, Camellia japonica L., is the official state flower of Alabama.

Alaska - Forget Me Not

Alaska's state flower is the alpine forget-me-not. It was chosen in 1949. The alpine forget-me-not is a perennial that grows 5 to 12 inches high in alpine meadows. The flowers have five connected salviform petals, colored sky blue, that are a quarter to a third of an inch wide. They have a white inner ring and a yellow center. The best time to see the alpine forget-me-not is midsummer, from late June to late July. In addition to finding the Myosotis alpestris, botanists in Denali National Park might also come across the mountain forget-me-not (Eritrichium aretiodes) and the splendid forget-me-not (Eritrichium splendens).

Arizona - Saguaro Cactus Blossom

In 1901 the saguaro’s blossom was adopted as the official territorial flower, and later, in 1931, it was confirmed as the state flower. The saguaro cactus typically blooms in May and June. It is one of the most unique state flowers, and is characterized by having a waxy feel, but fragrant aroma. There may be hundreds of flowers on a saguaro cactus that bloom just several at a time over a period of more than a month. The saguaro flowers have a short life; they open at night and close permanently during the next day. Many of the blossoms will become pollinated and, later in the summer, the flowers become red-fleshed fruits that are enjoyed by the local bird population.

Arkansas - Apple Blossom

The apple blossom was adopted as the Arkansas State Flower by the General Assembly of 1901. Apple blossoms have pink and white petals and green leaves. At one time Arkansas was a major apple-producing state. The town of Lincoln in Washington County hosts the annual Arkansas Apple Festival.

California - California Poppy

California Indians cherished the poppy as both a source of food and for oil extracted from the plant. Its botanical name, Eschsholtzia californica, was given by Adelbert Von Chamisso, a naturalist and member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, who dropped anchor in San Francisco in 1816 in a bay surrounded by hills of the golden flowers. Also sometimes known as the flame flower, la amapola, and copa de oro (cup of gold), the poppy grows wild throughout California. It became the state flower in 1903. Every year April 6 is California Poppy Day, and Governor Wilson proclaimed May 13-18, 1996, Poppy Week.

Colorado - Rocky Mountain Columbine

The white and lavender Columbine, Aquilegia caerules, was adopted as the official state flower on April 4, 1899 by an act of the General Assembly. In 1925, the General Assembly made it the duty of all citizens to protect this rare species from needless destruction or waste. To further protect this fragile flower, the law prohibits digging or uprooting the flower on public lands and limits the gathering of buds, blossoms and stems to 25 in one day. It is unlawful to pick the columbine on private land without consent of the land owner. Citation: Senate Bill 261, 1899, Bill, 1925; Colorado Revised Statutes 24-80-905 through 24-80-908.

Connecticut - Mountain Laurel

Designated as the State Flower by the General Assembly in 1907, the Mountain Laurel is perhaps the most beautiful of native American shrubs. Its fragrance and the massed richness of its white and pink blossoms so vividly contrast with the darker colors of the forests and the fields that they have continually attracted the attention of travelers since the earliest days of our colonization.

Delaware - Peach Blossom

Passage of the act to adopt the Peach Blossom on May 9, 1895, was prompted by Delaware's reputation as the "Peach State," since her orchards contained more than 800,000 peach trees yielding a crop worth thousands of dollars at that time.

Florida - Orange Blossom

The orange blossom was designated State Flower by Concurrent Resolution Nov. 15, 1909 Legislature. It is one of the most fragrant flowers in Florida. Millions of these white flowers perfume the atmosphere throughout central and south Florida during orange blossom time.

Georgia - Cherokee Rose

In 1916, with the support of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs, the Cherokee rose was named the state floral emblem. The name "Cherokee Rose" is a local designation derived from the Cherokee Indians who widely distributed the plant. The rose is excessively thorny and generously supplied with leaves of a vivid green. In color, it is waxy white with a large golden center. Blooming time is in the early spring, but favorable conditions will produce, in the fall of the year, a second flowering of this hardy plant.

Hawaii - Pua Aloalo

The hibiscus, all colors and varieties, was the official Territorial Flower, adopted in the early 1920s. At statehood in 1959, the first state legislature adopted many of Hawaii's symbols as part of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS, state laws). It wasn't until 1988, however, that the yellow hibiscus which is native to the islands was selected to represent Hawaii.

Idaho - Syringa

The Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii) was designated the state flower of Idaho by the legislature in 1931. It is a branching shrub with clusters of white, fragrant flowers. The blossoms are similar to the mock orange, have four petals, and the flowers grow at the ends of short, leafy branches.

Illinois - Violet

The law that made the violet the state flower designated the "blue violet." Unfortunately, Gleason and Cronquist recognize approximately eight species of blue-flowered violets in the state. The most common of these is the dooryard violet (Viola sororia). The dooryard violet is certainly one of the most recognizable native wildflowers in the state. It is also one of the most easily grown; it grows in anything from full sunlight to deep shade. Many types of violets, including the dooryard violet, produce two kinds of flowers. The large showy flowers that people associate with the plants are common in the spring. After the showy flowers have bloomed, the plant produces small, closed flowers on short stems near the ground. These flowers look like small buds. It is these small, closed flowers that produce most of the seeds. The showy flowers are edible. The petals are frequently covered with sugar and used as decorations on cakes.

Indiana - Peony

The peony (Paeonia) was adopted as the state flower by the 1957 General Assembly (Indiana Code 1-2-7). From 1931 to 1957 the zinnia was the state flower. The peony blooms the last of May and early June in various shades of red and pink and also in white; it occurs in single and double forms. No particular variety or color was designated by the General Assembly. It is cultivated widely throughout the state and is extremely popular for decorating gravesites for Memorial Day.

Iowa - Wild Prairie Rose

The Iowa Legislature designated the Wild Rose as the official state flower in 1897. It was chosen for the honor because it was one of the decorations used on the silver service which the state presented to the battleship USS Iowa that same year. Although no particular species of the flower was designated by the Legislature, the Wild Prairie Rose (Rosa Pratincola) is most often cited as the official flower. Wild roses are found throughout the state and bloom from June through late summer. The flower, in varying shades of pink, is set off by many yellow stamens in the center.

Kansas - Sunflower

In September the fields and roadsides of the Great Plains erupt in a blaze of yellow as the sunflowers and goldenrods (also members of the sunflower family) make their presence known to the local pollinating insects. While many sunflower species may begin blooming in July, they are not as noticeable then as later on when they have grown up and over the surrounding vegetation. There are eleven species of sunflower recorded from Kansas. Most of them are perennials. Only the common sunflower and H. petiolaris, the Prairie Sunflower, are annuals. Identification of sunflowers can be very complicated because they frequently hybridize and even within species there is a high degree of variability. With a little practice, however, the most common species can be readily recognized. The Common Sunflower has a long history of association with people. Nearly 3,000 years ago it was domesticated for food production by the Native Americans. The seeds of the wild type of sunflower are only about 5 mm. long. It was only through careful selection for the largest size seeds over hundreds of years that the cultivated sunflower was produced. Lewis and Clark made mention in their journals of its usage by the plains Indians. It was brought back to the Old World by the early European explorers and widely cultivated there also. Today it is a common alternative crop in the Great Plains and elsewhere for food and oil production. Next time you munch down on some sunflower seeds, thank the many generations of Native Americans whose careful husbandry gave us this valuable food item. The wild cousins of those grown on the farm are still common, however, in fields, roadsides and disturbed ground throughout the Great Plains.

Kentucky - Goldenrod

The golden plumes of this wildflower line Kentucky's roadsides in the fall. Native to all of Kentucky, 30 of nearly 100 species of this herb are found here.

Louisiana - Magnolia

The state flower of Louisiana is the magnolia. In the summer, the state's thousands of magnolia trees blossom. The magnolia flower has an especially rich fragrance. The blooms are very large and creamy white. The magnolia tree is an evergreen.

Maine - White Pine Cone and Tassel

White pine cone and tassel (Pinus strobus, linnaeus). Adopted by the Legislature of 1895. The White pine is considered to be the largest conifer in the northeastern United States. Leaves (needles) are soft, flexible and bluish-green to silver green in color and are regularly arranged in bundles of five. Needles are 2 1/2-5 inches long and are usually shed at the end of the second growing season. Flowers (strobili) occur on the tree. Cones are 4-8 inches in length, usually slightly curved. Cone scales are thin and never have prickles. Cones also have a fragrant gummy resin.

Maryland - Black-Eyed Susan

The Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) has been the official Maryland flower since 1918 when it was designated the "Floral Emblem" of Maryland by the General Assembly (Chapter 458, Acts of 1918; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-305).

Massachusetts - Trailing-Arbutus

Other common names.—Gravel plant, Mayflower, shadflower, ground laurel, mountain pink, winter pink. Habitat and range.—Trailing- arbutus spread out on the ground in sandy soil, being found from Newfoundland to Michigan and Saskatchewan and south to Kentucky and Florida. Description.—This plant, generally referred to in the drug trade as gravel plant but more popularly known as ''trailing-arbutus" spreads on the ground with stem 6 or more in length. It has rust-colored, hairy twigs bearing leathery, evergreen leaves from 1 to 3 inches long and about half as wide. The flower clusters, which appear from March to May, consist of fragrant, delicate, shell pink, waxy blossoms.

Michigan - Apple Blossom

In 1897 Michigan legislators, feeling that "a refined sentiment" called for the naming of a state flower, designated the apple blossom. Joint Resolution 10 of that year noted "one of the most fragrant and beautiful flowered species of apple, the pyrus coronaria, is native to our state." Legislators also proudly declared that "Michigan apples have gained a worldwide reputation." A century later, Michigan ranks second in the nation in apple production.

Minnesota - Pink and White Lady's-Slipper

The pink and white lady’s slipper (Cypripedium reginae), also knows as the showy lady’s slipper or queen’s lady slipper, was adopted as the state flower in 1902. Found living in open fens, bogs, swamps, and damp woods where there is plenty of light, lady's slippers grow slowly, taking up to 16 years to produce their first flowers. They bloom in late June or early July. The plants live for up to 50 years and grow four feet tall. A century ago, the showy lady’s slipper was a favorite adornment in rural church altars during the summer. Since 1925 this rare wildflower has been protected by state law (it is illegal to pick the flowers or to uproot or unearth the plants).

Mississippi - Magnolia

An election was held in November 1900 to select a State Flower. Votes were submitted by 23,278 school children. The magnolia received 12,745 votes; the cotton blossom 4,171; and the cape jasmine 2,484. There were a few votes for other flowers. The magnolia was officially designated as the State Flower by the 1952 Legislature. In 1935, the Director of Forestry started a movement by which to select a State Tree for Mississippi, to be selected by nomination and election by the school children of the State. Four nominations were made--the magnolia, oak, pine and dogwood. The magnolia received by far the largest majority. On April 1, 1938, the Mississippi Legislature officially designated the magnolia as the State Tree.

Missouri - Hawthorn

The White Hawthorn Blossom was named the state flower of Missouri on March 16, 1923. These flowers are white and grow in bunches on hawthorn trees. The White Hawthorn Blossom is most common in southern Missouri.

Montana - Bitterroot

Long before explorers Lewis and Clark wrote about the beautiful purplish-pink flower of the bitterroot, Native Americans were using its roots for food and trade. Tribes dug up the roots and dried them so they could be kept and used for months. The root was too bitter to eat unless it was cooked, and it was usually mixed with berries or meat. An Indian story tells how the bitterroot came to be. It says the sun heard a mother crying because she couldn't find food for her family. The sun changed her tears into the bitterroot so she would always have food for her children. You can find the bitterroot growing near the mountains and boulders of western Montana in spring and summer. Mice love its leaves and seeds.

Nebraska - Goldenrod

The goldenrod (Soldiago gigantea) was declared the state flower by legislative action in 1895. Numerous species of goldenrod grow throughout the state. The goldenrod is an erect, coarse-looking perennial herb that is usually about two or three feeet tall. The small flower heads, which are almost always yellow but sometimes have cream-colored or white rays, are grouped into either elongated or flattish clusters. The flowers appear from July through October. The resolution was signed into law by then-governor Silas A. Holcomb on April 4, 1985.

Nevada - Sagebrush

Big sagebrush is an aromatic, woody shrub, freely branched above, from 4-30 dm tall. Young stems are silvery-gray, while the older stems become grayish brown. The oldest stems have bark which is noticeably shredded. The leaves are gray, crowded and narrowly cuneate with 3 rounded teeth or lobes on the blunt tip. They are silvery green above and below and strongly scented. The leaves alternate on the stems, and they may be both deciduous and winter persistent. The flower heads are loosely spread out along the tips of the branches. The flower heads are soley discoid with 3-8 flowers per head. Big sagebrush flowers from late summer into fall.

New Hampshire - Purple Lilac

The purple lilac, Syringa vulgaris, is the state flower of New Hampshire. New Hampshire historian Leon Anderson writes in To This Day that the purple lilac was first imported from England and planted at the Portsmouth home of Governor Benning Wentworth in 1750. It was adopted as our state's flower in 1919. That year bills and amendments were introduced promoting the apple blossom, purple aster, wood lily, Mayflower, goldenrod, wild pasture rose, evening primrose and buttercup as the state flower. A long and lively debate followed regarding the relative merits of each flower. The purple lilac was ultimately chosen, according to Anderson in New Hampshire's Flower -- Tree -- Bird because it "is symbolic of that hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State."

New Jersey - Common Meadow Violet

The state flower of New Jersey was originally designated as such by a resolution of the Legislature in 1913. Unfortunately the force of resolution ended with the start of the 1914 legislative session, leaving the violet with uncertain status for the next fifty years. In 1963 an attempt was made to have the Legislature "officially" designate the violet as the state flower, but the legislation apparently failed. In 1971, at the urging of New Jersey's garden clubs, legislation more specifically designating the Common Meadow Violet (Viola sororia) as the state flower was enacted.

New Mexico - Yucca Flower

New Mexico school children labored months on considering the state’s flowers. Finally, they favored the yucca. It was seconded by the New Mexico Federation of Women’s Clubs and was officially adopted on March 14, 1927.

Glauca is the Latin word for "greenish-grey." New Mexico's state flower is in fact a plant native to the deserts of the Southwest. The yucca is also known as the "Lamparas de dios" which translates to "Lamps of the Lord" due to the bright mass of white flowers that protrude from a center stalk within the plant. The Dakota Indian name for it is Hupestula; Omahas and Poncas call it Duwaduwa-hi; Pawnees know it as Chakida-kahtsuor Chakila-kahtsu. Its needle-sharp leaves have given it the common name, Spanish bayonet.

Also called "soapweed", "beargrass", and "Spanish bayonet", yucca is mostly found south and west of the Missouri River in North Dakota. The plant grows from southeastern Alberta south to Missouri, Texas, and New Mexico at elevations up to 8,500 ft.

The yucca is not only an attractive plant; it is has also been an important resource in past decades as its roots and palm-like leaves provided materials for the making of soap and baskets for those residing in the Southwest. Yucca is included in the agave family (Agavaceae) which contains about 600 species arid regions of the world. Members of this family are noted for the production of fiber (e.g. sisal) and alcoholic drinks (tequila, pulque, and mescal). The genus Yucca contains about 40 species, the most famous being the Joshua tree which reaches 30 feet tall in the Mohave desert.

New York - Rose

The rose, wild or cultivated, in all its variety and colors, was made the State flower in 1955.

Roses are fragrant flowers with thorny stems. They grow in bushes and can be found in many gardens. Ever popular, the rose was at the top of a school children's poll of favorite flowers in 1891. Roses have always been a part of nature's landscape design. Fossil evidence shows that roses have been around for at least thirty million years. The rose has been celebrated in the art, music, literature, and religions of numerous civilizations since ancient times, and garden roses were cultivated by Egyptians as early as 4000 BC. Some type of rose has been discovered growing wild in almost every habitable place in the northern hemisphere of our planet .

North Carolina - Dogwood

The General Assembly of 1941 designated the dogwood as the State Flower. (Public Laws, 1941, c. 289; G.S. 145-1).

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is one of America's most popular ornamental trees. Known to most people simply as dogwood, it has other common names, including boxwood and cornel. The species name florida is Latin for flowering, but the showy petal-like bracts are not in fact flowers. The bright red fruit of this fast-growing short-lived tree are poisonous to humans but provide a great variety of wildlife with food. The wood is smooth, hard and close-textured and now used for specialty products.

North Dakota - Wild Prairie Rose

The flower has been identified as Rosa Pratincola in species. The flower sports five bright pink petals with a tight cluster of yellow stamens in the center. The Wild Prairie Rose grows along roadsides, in pastures, and in native meadows.

Wild roses are found throughout the state and bloom from June through late summer. The flower, in varying shades of pink, is set off by many yellow stamens in the center

Ohio - Scarlet Carnation

The red carnation was adopted as Ohio's state flower in 1904 in memory of President William McKinley, who always wore a red carnation in his lapel.

Native to Eurasia, first being mentioned in use in garlands by classical Greeks and Romans. The flower was named for the Greek dios refering to the god Zeus, and anthos meaning flower, refering to the "flower of the gods". Originally beginning on Long Island in this country in 1852 with imported French carnations, the industry was centered in the Northeast until the middle of this century.

Dr. Levi L. Lamborn was one of the prominent residents of Alliance. One day he was eager to reveal the first carnation to bloom in America to his close friend and political opponent, William McKinley. Being an amateur horticulturist, and also a physician and politician, Dr. Lamborn had successfully propagated one of the six carnation seedlings he had imported from France. He was very excited and proud of this beautiful scarlet carnation and later aptly named it the "Lamborn Red" carnation.

On noting how impressed William McKinley was with this scarlet flower, it is reported that Dr. Lamborn removed the fragrant blossom from the its stem and placed it in his friend's lapel. From that day forward, McKinley was a devoted enthusiast of carnations. When William McKinley became the twenty-fifth President of the United States on November 3, 1896, he proudly wore a "Lamborn Red" carnation in his lapel.

In September of 1901 while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, President McKinley was again wearing his favorite scarlet carnation in his lapel. It was there that he would give a shy young girl his very last "Lamborn Red" boutonniere. For as history records, it was also there just seconds later that President William McKinley was shot by an assassin's bullet and later died.

It wasn't until after President McKinley's death that the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution on February 3, 1904, naming the scarlet carnation the official Ohio floral emblem. Fifty-five years later, on April 8, 1959, the Ohio Legislature named Alliance, Ohio the "Carnation City, for truly it is the home of Ohio's State flower.

Oklahoma - Mistletoe

Mistletoe, phoradendron seotinum, is the oldest of Oklahoma's symbols, adopted first in 1893, 14 years before statehood. Its greenery in the harsh winter months symbolizes the perseverence of early settlers. The colors of the foliage of mistletoe and its berries, green and white, are the state colors of Oklahoma.

Oregon - Oregon Grape

A low growing plant, the Oregon Grape is native to much of the Pacific Coast and found sparsely east of the Cascades. Its year-round foliage of pinnated, waxy green leaves resembles holly. The plant bears dainty yellow flowers in early summer and a dark blue berry that ripens late in the fall. The fruit can be used in cooking.

Pennsylvania - Mountain Laurel

The Mountain Laurel is the state flower, as enacted by the General Assembly on May 5, 1933. The mountain laurel is in full bloom in mid-June, when Pennsylvania's woodlands are filled with its distinctive pink flower, a sight which delighted members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate as well as the wife of Pennsylvania governor Gifford Pinchot. Together, they prevailed over Pinchot's preference for the azalea to name the Mountain Laurel as the official state flower.

Rhode Island - Violet

The distinctive feature of this violet is its leaves , some of them are cut or divided into lobes. The prototypical early blue violet has lobed leaves, usually with five to eleven lobes (first photo). The plant in the second photo has a mixture of lobed leaves and unlobed, heart-shaped leaves. This marks it as Viola palmata var. triloba, which was once considered a separate species (Viola triloba). Birdfoot violet and coast violet look somewhat similar, but their leaves are cut into much narrower lobes.

South Carolina - Carolina Jessamine

Officially adopted by the General Assembly on February 1, 1924, for the following reasons: it is indigenous to every nook and corner of the State; it is the first premonitor of coming Spring; its fragrance greets us first in the woodland and its delicate flower suggests the pureness of gold; its perpetual return out of the dead Winter suggests the lesson of constancy in, loyalty to and patriotism in the service of the State.

South Dakota - American Pasque Flower

The pasque is the state flower. It is also called the May Day flower. It grows wild throughout the state, and its blooming is one of the first signs of spring in South Dakota. A member of the buttercup family, the pasque is a small, lavender flower.

Tennessee - Iris

The iris (Genus Iridaceae) was designated as the state cultivated flower by the Legislature in 1933. While there are several different colors among the iris, the purple iris is commonly accepted as the state flower.

Texas - Bluebonnet

Named for its color and, it is said, the resemblance of its petal to a woman's sunbonnet, the bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. It blooms in the early spring and can be readily found in fields and along the roadsides throughout central and south Texas. Scientifically named Lupinus texensis, the bluebonnet is also called buffalo clover, wolf flower, and (by the Mexicans) el conejo. It was adopted as the official state flower by the Texas Legislature in 1901.

Utah - Sego Lily

The sego lily (Calochortus nuttallii) was made the official state flower of Utah on March 18, 1911, when Senate Bill 225 was signed into law by Gov. William Spry (Utah Code 63-13-6). The bill was introduced by William N. Williams, according to Heart Throbs of the West (2:226), after a census was taken of the state's schoolchildren as to their preference for a state flower.

Vermont - Red Clover

No. 159 of the Acts of 1894, effective February 1, 1895, designated the Red Clover as the official State Flower. Both an integral part of many a cultivated hay field and a common sight along numerous Vermont roadsides, the Red Clover is symbolic of Vermont's scenic countryside generally and of its dairy farms in particular. Oddly enough, however, Trifolium pratense is not a native of Vermont but was "naturalized" from Europe.

Virginia - American Dogwood

In 1918, the state floral emblem commonly known as the American dogwood (Cornus florida) was adopted. It was selected to foster a feeling of pride in our state and to stimulate an interest in the history and traditions of the Commonwealth.

Washington - Coast Rhododendron

In 1892, before they had the right to vote, Washington women selected the coast rhododendron as the state flower. They wanted an official flower to enter in a floral exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Six flowers were considered, but the final decision was narrowed to clover and the "rhodie," and voting booths were set up for ladies throughout the state. When the ballots were counted, the rhododendron had been chosen as the Washington state flower.

West Virginia - Rhododendron

The Rhododendron maximum, or “great laurel,” is the state flower of West Virginia. It was selected on January 29, 1903, by the Legislature, following a vote by pupils of the public schools. It is a shrub of the heath family and may be recognized by its large, dark evergreen leaves and delicate pale pink or white bloom, mottled with either red or yellow flecks.

Wisconsin - Wood Violet

State flowers were first nominated in 1908. When the official tally was taken on Arbor Day 1909, school children selected the wood violet (Viola papilionacea) over the wild rose, trailing arbutus, and the white water lily. It was a close vote. The wood violet is a small flower commonly seen in wet woodland and meadow areas, and along roadsides. This purple violet is very popular in the eastern United States and blooms between March and June. Not only is it the state flower for Wisconsin, but it also holds this title in Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Believe it or not, the leaves are very tasty and can be used in salads, candies, and jellies.

Wyoming - Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush or Painted Cup (Castilleja linariaefolia) was adopted as the State Flower on January 31, 1917. The roots of the painted cups are partially parasitic on the roots of other green plants. Their true flowers are inconspicuous, but are commonly enveloped by bright red flowerlike bracts.

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