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Flower Symbols

Flowers are among the most popular ecosymbols, or symbols of Nature. They are the most popular plant symbols symbols among countries, states, provinces, etc.

Let’s take a brief tour of flowers of state.

National Flowers ˆ

U.S. State Flowers ˆ

Flowers are the most popular state ecosymbols. Although most people instinctively love flowers, floral emblems didn’t just sprout by chance.

The first State Flowers were adopted by Minnesota and Oklahoma in 1893.

The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago is commonly viewed as the genesis of the state flower movement. Minnesota and Oklahoma adopted state flowers that same year. However, both states made somewhat flaky choices and later changed their designations.

The Most Popular State Flowers
THE MOST POPUIAR STATE FLOWERS (Woolly Blue Violets: By Melissa McMasters, CC BY 2; Giant Goldenrod: By Jac. Janssen, CC BY 2)

Today, every state has an official flower. Some states have two or even three official flowers.

Flowers were popular symbols even before the state symbols craze began. A number of states have nicknames inspired by flowers. Mississippi is the Magnolia State, Kansas the Sunflower State, and Nevada the Sagebrush State. Florida takes its name from a Spanish word meaning “Land of Flowers,” while hillsides carpeted with California poppies lent California the nickname Land of Fire. Let’s not forget North Dakota, the Peace Garden State.

Flower Nicknames

Flowers are also depicted on several state flags, seals, and coats of arms. Nevada and Kansas proudly display their state flowers on their flags, while Kentucky, Utah, and West Virginia display them on their state seals (or coats of arms), which are in turn displayed on their flags.

Floral Flags
LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP: FLAGS REPRESENTING NEVADA, KANSAS, AND WEST VIRGINIA; BOTTOM; STATE SEALS OF FLORIDA, WEST VIRGINIA, AND UTAHF

A magnolia is proudly displayed on Mississippi’s new state flag, which is marred only by the state motto. If Kansas ever adopts a new state flag, it will almost certainly feature a sunflower, while dogwood blossoms appear on some Virginia flag proposals.

Floral Flags
LEFT TO RIGHT: MISSISSIPI’S NEW STATE FLAG AND FLAG PROPOSALS FOR KANSAS AND VIRGINIA.

Countless more flowers reign as county and civic symbols. How many streets and parks named for flowers there are across America? Flowers have similarly inspired many place names, from Florida (literally “Land of Flowers”) to Portland, Oregon (aka City of Roses).

More Tree Symbols
MORE STATE FLOWER MAPS AND INFORMATION ARE AVAILABLE IN THE #1 STATE SYMBOLS REFERENCE, GEOBOP’S STATE SYMBOLS
(Permissions … Carolina Jessamine: By Swallowtail Garden Seeds, CC BY 2; Top Right, Indian Paintbrush Closeup: By Andrey Zharkikh, CC BY 2, Red Clover Closeup: By Andreas Rockstein, CC BY 2; Bottom Right, Passion Flower: By Kai Schreiber, CC BY 2; Indian Blanket: By oliver.dodd, CC BY 2)
List of State Flowers
State Designation Species  
Alabama camellia (Camellia) 1959
(former)   goldenrod (Solidago) 1927
  Wildflower oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) 1999
Alaska forget me not (Myosotis alpestris) 1955
Arizona saguaro cactus blossom (Carnegia gigantea) 1931
Arkansas apple blossom (Malus) 1901
California California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) 1903
Colorado columbine (Aquilegia caerulea) 1899
Connecticut mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) 1907
  Children’s Flower Michaela Petit’s four o’clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) 2015
Delaware peach blossom (Prunus persica) 1895
  Herb sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora) 1996
District of Columbia American beauty rose (Rosa)
Florida orange blossom (Citrus sinensis) 1909
  Wildflower Coreopsis (Coreopsis) 1991
Georgia Cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata) 1916
  Wildflower azalea (Rhododendron) 1979
Hawaii Pua Aloalo (yellow hibiscus) (Hibiscus brackenridgei) 1988
Idaho Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii) 1931
Illinois violet (Violaceae) 1907
Wildflower milkweed (Asclepias) 2017
Indiana peony (Paeonia) 1957
(former)   zinnia (Zinnia) 1931
(former)   “tulip tree blossom (Liriodendron tulipifera) 1923
(former)   carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) 1913
Iowa wild prairie rose (Rosa arkansana) 1897
Kansas native sunflower (Helianthus annuus) 1903
Kentucky goldenrod (Solidago) 1926
Louisiana magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) 1900
  Wildflower Louisiana iris (Iris giganticaerulea) 1990
Maine white pine cone and tassel (Pinus strobus) 1895
Maryland black eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) 1918
Massachusetts Mayflower (Epigaea repens) 1918
Michigan sweet crabapple blossom (Malus coronaria) 1897
  Wildflower dwarf lake iris (Iris lacustris) 1998
Minnesota pink and white lady slipper (Cypripedium reginae) 1902
(former)   lady slipper (Cypripedium calceolous) 1893
Mississippi magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) 1900
  Wildflower Coreopsis (Coreopsis) 1991
Missouri hawthorn blossom (Crataegus) 1923
Montana bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) 1895
Nebraska giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea) 1895
Nevada sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) 1917
New Hampshire purple lilac (Syringa vulgaris) 1919
  Wildflower pink lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule) 1991
New Jersey common meadow violet (Viola sororia) 1972
New Mexico yucca flower (Yucca glauca) 1927
New York rose (Rosa) 1955
  Bush lilac (Syringa vulgaris) 2006
North Carolina dogwood (Cornus florida) 1941
  Wildflower Carolina lily (Lilium michauxii) 2003
North Dakota wild prairie rose (Rosa arkansana) 1907
Ohio scarlet carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) 1904
  Wildflower large white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) 1987
Oklahoma Oklahoma rose (Rosa odorata) 2004
  Wildflower Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) 1986
  Floral Emblem mistletoe (Phoradendron serotinum) 1893
Oregon Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) 1899
Pennsylvania mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) 1933
  Beautification and Conservation Plant Penngift crownvetch (Securigera varia) 1982
Rhode Island violet (Viola sororia) 2001
South Carolina Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) 1924
  Wildflower goldenrod (Solidago altissima) 2003
South Dakota American pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens) 1903
Tennessee Cultivated Flower iris (Iridaceae) 1933
  Wildflower passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) 1919
  Wildflower Tennessee coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis) 2012
Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) 1971
  Waterlily Texas Dawn (Nymphaea) 2011
Utah Sego lily (Calochortus nuttallii) 1911
Vermont red clover (Trifolium pratense) 1895
Virginia American dogwood (Cornus florida) 1918
Washington coast rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) 1959
(former)   rhododendron (Rhododendron californicum) 1949
West Virginia big laurel (Rhododendron maximum) 1903
Wisconsin wood violet (Viola sororia) 1949
Wyoming Indian paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia) 1917

Canada ˆ

List of Provincial Flowers
Province Species
Alberta wild prairie rose (Rosa arkansana) 1930
British Columbia Pacific dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) 1956
Manitoba prairie crocus (pasque) (Pulsatilla patens) 1906
New Brunswick purple violet (Viola cucullata) 1936
Newfoundland pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) 1954
Northwest Territories mountain avens (Dryas octopetala) 1957
Nova Scotia trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) 1901
Nunavut purple saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) 2000
Ontario white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) 1937
Prince Edward Island lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule) 1947
Quebec blue flag (Iris versicolor) 1999
Saskatchewan western red lily (Lilium philadelphicum) 1941
Yukon Territory fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) 1957

Japan ˆ

List of Prefectural Flowers
Prefecture Symbol  
Aichi rabbit ear iris (Iris laevigata) 1954
Akita butterbur (Petasites japonicus variegatus) 1954
Aomori apple (Malus domestica)
Chiba rape (Brassica rapa var. amplexicaulis)
Ehime Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu)
Fukui cream narcissus (Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis)
Fukuoka Japanese apricot (Prunus mume)
Fukushima Japanese rhododendron (Rhododendron japonicum)
Gifu Chinese milk vetch (Astragalus sinicus)
Gunma Japanese rhododendron (Rhododendron japonicum)
Hiroshima Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
Hokkaido rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa)
Hyogo chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum japanense)
Ibaraki rose (Rosa)
Ishikawa Kamchatka fritillary (Fritillaria camschatcensis)
Iwate royal paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa)
Kagawa olive (Olea europaea) 1955
Kagoshima Kyushu azalea (Rhododendron kiusianum)
Kanagawa golden rayed lily (Lilium auratum)
Kochi Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra)
Kumamoto gentian (Gentiana) 1953
Kyoto fringed pink (Dianthus superbus)
Mie Russian iris (Iris ensata)
Miyagi Miyagi bush clover (Lespedeza thunbergii)
Miyazaki spider lily (Crinum asiaticum var. japonicum)
Nagano rough gentian (Gentiana)
Nagasaki wild thyme azalea (Rhododendron serpyllifolium)
Nara Nara yae zakura (Prunus leveilleana)
Niigata Didier’s tulip (Tulipa gesneriana)
Oita Japanese apricot (Prunus mume)
Okayama peach (Prunus persica)
Okinawa royal paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa)
Osaka common rush (Juncus effusus)
Saga camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora)
Saitama a Japanese woodland primula (Primula japonica)
Shiga Japanese rhododendron (Rhododendron japonicum)
Shimane tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa)
Shizuoka azalea (Rhododendron)
Tochigi Yashio tsutsuji (Rhododendron albrechtii)
Tokushima sudachi (Citrus sudachi)
Tokyo Yoshino cherry (Prunus)
Tottori twentieth century pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) 1954
Toyama tulip (Tulipa)
Wakayama Japanese apricot (Prunus mume)
Yamagata safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)
Yamaguchi bitter summer mandarin (Citrus natsudaidai)
Yamanashi Fuji zakura (Prunus incisa)

Other Flowers ˆ

Check back now and then; I will be adding more lists for some time.

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