Alabama State Flower - Camellia
Scientific Name: 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 State Flower - Forget Me Not
Scientific Name: Myosotis Alpestris
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 State Flower - Saguaro Cactus Blossom
Scientific Name: Carnegiea gigantea
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.
California State Flower - California Poppy
Scientific Name: Eschscholtzia californica
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 State Flower - Rocky Mountain Columbine
Scientific Name: Aquilegia caerules
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.
Delaware State Flower - Peach Blossom
Scientific Name: Prunus persica
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.
Georgia State Flower - Cherokee Rose
Scientific Name: Rosa laevigata
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 State Flower - Pua Aloalo
Scientific Name: Hibiscus brackenridgei
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. For this reason, you will see many older photos and postcards with the red hibiscus, or any other color for that matter, as the state flower. These weren't incorrect at the time. Click on the image below to print out a hibiscus that you can color any way you like!
Idaho State Flower - Syringa - Mock Orange
Scientific Name: Philadelphus lewisii
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 State Flower - Purple Violet
Scientific Name: Viola
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.
Iowa State Flower - Wild Prairie Rose
Scientific Name: Rosa pratincola
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 State Flower - Sunflower
Scientific Name: Helianthus annuus
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.
Maine State Flower - White Pine Cone and Tassel
Scientific Name: Pinus strobus, linnaeus
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.
Massachusetts State Flower - Trailing-Arbutus
Scientific Name: Epigaea regens
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. Part used: The leaves, gathered at flowering time.
Michigan State Flower - Apple Blossom
Scientific Name: Pyrus coronaria
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 State Flower - Pink & White Lady's - Slipper
Scientific Name: Cypripedium reginae
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). Specimens like the one pictured here are difficult to find, but with some effort can be found on the bog at Beckman Lake in Isanti County.
Mississippi State Flower - Magnolia
Scientific Name: Magnolia grandiflora
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.
Nebraska State Flower - Goldenrod
Scientific Name: Soldiago gigantea
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 State Flower - Sagebrush
Scientific Name: Artemisia tridentata
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 State Flower - Purple Lilac
Scientific Name: Syringa vulgaris
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 Hampshire Revised Statute Annotated (RSA) 3:5.
New Jersey State Flower - Violet
Scientific Name: Viola sororia
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 State Flower - Yucca Flower
Scientific Name: Yucca glauca
The yucca was adopted as the State Flower on March 14, 1927. The yucca is a member of the lily family and a symbol of sturdiness as well as beauty. In the early summer, pale ivory flowers bloom at the tips of its long, fibrous stalks. At the base of the plant are broad, sharpedged leaves that look like stilettos. The yucca sometimes grows to the height of a small tree.
North Carolina State Flower - American Dogwood
Scientific Name: Cornus florida
The Dogwood is one of the most prevalent trees in our State and can be found in all parts of the State from the mountains to the coast. Its blossoms, which appear in early spring and continue on into summer, are most often found in white, although shades of pink (red) are not uncommon.
Ohio State Flower - Scarlet Carnation
Scientific Name: Dianthus caryophyllus
Although the fruit of the buckeye tree has symbolized Ohio since the mid-1800s, it wasn't until 1904 that the scarlet carnation was chosen as our official state flower. This flower was a favorite of William McKinley and was adopted by the state legislature partly because it represented a token of love and reverence for the Ohio president. When Legislator Elijah W. Hill introduced the adoption resolution on the floor of the Ohio House of Representatives, he said, in part: "England has the rose, France has the lily; Ireland, the shamrock; Scotland, the thistle. These flowers awaken in the hearts of the natives of these countries memories of home, fireside, childhood days, sweet sorrows, family ties, and incidents of the land of their nativity. To these ends we seek to adopt the scarlet carnation as Ohio's floral emblem."
South Carolina State Flower - Yellow Jessamine
Scientific Name: Gelsemium sempervirens
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. "No flower that blooms holds such perfume, As kindness and sympathy won. Wherever there grows the sheltering pine Is clinging a Yellow Jessamine vine." From "Legend of the Yellow Jessamine," by Mrs. Teresa Strickland of Anderson, South Carolina, when the flower was made the emblem of Dixie Chapter, U.D.C., about 1906. The "Carolina or Yellow Jessamine" is defined by the New International Encyclopedia as "A climbing plant which grows upon trees and fences and bears a profusion of yellow, funnel-shaped flowers an inch in diameter, with a fragrance similar to that of the true Jasmine." Its odor on a damp evening or morning fills the atmosphere with a rare and delicate sweetness.
Texas State Flower - Bluebonnet
Scientific Name: Lupinus
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 State Flower - Sego Lily
Scientific Name: Calochortus gunnisonii
By an act of the Utah State Legislature, approved on March 18, 1911, the sego lily was declared to be the State floral emblem (Utah Code). Kate C. Snow, President of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, in a letter dated April 17, 1930, says that "between 1840 and 1851" food became very scarce in Utah due to a crop-devouring plague of crickets, and that "the families were put on rations, and during this time they learned to dig for and to eat the soft, bulbous root of the sego lily. The memory of this use, quite as much as the natural beauty of the flower, caused it to be selected in after years by the Legislature as the floral emblem of the State." The sego lily was made the official state flower after a census was taken of the state's school children as to their preference for a state flower. The sego lily, Calochortus nuttalli, has white, lilac, or yellow flowers and grows six to eight inches high on open grass and sage rangelands in the Great Basin during the summer months.
Vermont State Flower - Red Clover
Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense
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.
Washington State Flower - Coast Rhododendron
Scientific Name: Rhododendron macrophyllum
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 State Flower - Rhododendron
Scientific Name: Rhododendron maximum
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 State Flower - Wood Violet
Scientific Name: Viola papilionacea
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.