Also Recently Published
How well do you know all 50 state flowers?
// By Kae Lani Palmisano
By Kae Lani Palmisano
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / cocojune77
See which floral beauty represents your state
Maybe the plant is native to a state, or perhaps it represents a moment in that state's history, but there is a significance to each state flower chosen. Here are all 50 official state flowers (plus D.C.), along with interesting tidbits about each one.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / ooyoo
Alabama - Camellia
Until 1959, the state flower of Alabama was the goldenrod. The camellia, also nicknamed "the rose of winter" appears on the Alabama state quarter and can be cultivated in many different colors.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / lior2
Alaska - Forget-me-not
For a brief period of time, from late June to late July, the forget-me-nots of Alaska bloom in the state's alpine regions. The dark blue backdrop behind the Big Dipper constellation on Alaska's state flag, represents not just Alaska's vast sky but also a field of forget-me-nots.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / tonda
Arizona - Saguaro cactus blossom
Upwards of 40 feet tall, the Saguaro cactus blossom has been Arizona's state flower since 1931. The Saguaro can live up to 150 years and is endemic to the Sonoran Desert. The beautiful white blossoms show up in May and June.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / boboling
Arkansas - Apple blossom
There was a time when Arkansas was a leading producer of apples in the United States, and their bounty of apples earned them the nickname "The Land of the Big Red Apple." For this reason, the apple blossom was chosen to be Arkansas' state flower in 1901.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Try Media
California - California poppy
One of the best super blooms to catch in the spring is in the rolling hills of California poppies that cover 1,800 acres in the Antelope Valley. Though the California Poppy is a wildflower that grows throughout the west coast, it is native to California.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Silent_GOS
Colorado - Rocky Mountain columbine
The Rocky Mountain columbine became Colorado's state flower after an overwhelming amount of school children voted it as their favorite flower. In 1899, the Colorado Legislature approved this white and lavender flower as the official floral symbol of the state.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / seven75
Connecticut - Mountain laurel
Mountain laurel goes by many names – ivybush, lambkill, sheep laurel and spoonwood (because Native Americans used the plant to make spoons), to name a few. The colonists first reported seeing it in 1624. And in 1907, the pleasantly fragrant mountain laurel became the official state flower of Connecticut.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Sandro Messina
Delaware - Peach blossom
Delaware adopted the peach blossom as a floral symbol in 1895. During those days, there were over 800,000 peach trees in the state, earning Delaware the nickname the "Peach State." It wasn't until 1953 when the state legislature officially declared this delicate pink blossom the Delaware state flower.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Elena_Danileiko
District of Columbia - American Beauty Rose
A classic rose, the American Beauty's rose petals come in different shades ranging from crimson red to pale pink. They grow to about three to six feet tall, and their flowers have upwards of 50 petals, which some may see as symbolic of our nation's 50 states.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / kjohansen
Florida - Orange blossom
If you didn't already know what Florida's state flower was, you might have been able to guess it, since the state is almost synonymous with oranges. The orange blossom was declared Florida's state flower in 1909.
Explore: Flower fields around the world that are super gorgeous
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / undefined undefined
Georgia - Cherokee rose
The Cherokee rose is a reminder to the state of Georgia about the removal of the Cherokee people on the "Trail of Tears." White petals, which stand for the tears shed by Cherokee women, surround a gold center which represents the gold in the land that was taken from them.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Greg Meland
Hawaii - Yellow hibiscus
Though each island has its own representative flower, the yellow hibiscus has come to symbolize the entire state of Hawaii. There are many colors of hibiscus flowers, but the yellow variety is considered to be quite rare.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / fotolotos
Idaho - Syringa
The Syringa is only found in the western part of the United States and blooms from late May through July. The blossoming shrub became Idaho's state flower in 1931.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Vasyl Rohan
Illinois - Native violet
The native violet became the official state flower of Illinois in 1908 after a vote by school children. It's considered to be one of the most commonly spotted flowers in the state of Illinois and can grow anywhere from the prairies to the forests.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Axynia
Indiana - Peony
From May to early June peonies bloom with giant, puffball flowers in shades of white, pink and red. The peony became Indiana's official state flower in 1957.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / twigymuleford
Iowa - Wild prairie rose
Though they're called wild prairie roses, they can additionally be found in the woodlands and other areas of Iowa. This state flower is also edible and can be used in salads, or it can be candied or dried to make tea.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / RicciPhotos
Kansas - Native sunflower
Though the native sunflower has been the state flower of Kansas since 1903, it's not the only sunflower variety that can be found in the state. There are ten other perennial species that grow throughout Kansas.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / vicm
Kentucky - Goldenrod
Goldenrods bloom in Kentucky during the late summer and early fall. The Kentucky goldenrod, Solidago gigantea, is different from other goldenrods and can grow twice as tall, upwards of eight feet. It's for that reason that the Kentucky Legislature designated that specific goldenrod species as the official state flower.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Ocskaymark
Louisiana - Magnolia
Magnolia trees can grow in different climates throughout the United States, but the waxy leaved tree flourishes in the southeastern part of the country. Louisiana designated the tree's flower, the giant magnolia with its thick petals, as the official state flower in 1900.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Natali22206
Maine - Pine cone & tassel
In a state where the evergreen reigns supreme, it's only fitting that Maine's state flower is a pine cone and tassel. Though they may not officially be flowers, they were considered a floral emblem of Maine in the "National Garland of Flowers" at the 1893 World's Fair.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Iva Vagnerova
Maryland - Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan gets its name from the dark "eye" in the center of the flower. This yellow flower is a cousin of the sunflower and was designated as Maryland's state flower in 1918.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / VIDOK
Massachusetts - Mayflower
In order to grow, the mayflower requires specific conditions. They grow best in sandy, rocky soil and underneath evergreen trees. Though the mayflower has been Massachusetts' official flower since 1918, it's been considered endangered since 1925.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / alicjane
Michigan - Apple blossom
Just as Arkansas was known for its abundance of apples, so is Michigan. In fact, Michigan currently ranks third in the top apple producing states behind Washington and New York state.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / pixynook
Minnesota - Showy lady's slipper
When it comes to house plants, orchids are among the most difficult to maintain. There are 46 species of orchid that grow in Minnesota, one of which is the showy lady's slipper which has been the official state flower since 1902 and has been protected by state law since 1925.
Explore: 10 amazing monasteries with architecture you have to see to believe
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / bea8476
Mississippi - Magnolia
Not only is Mississippi's state flower the magnolia flower, but the magnolia tree where the flower blooms is designated the official state tree. The magnolia appears on Mississippi's bicentennial commemorative quarter and also appears in the state's nickname "The Magnolia State."
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / apugach
Missouri - Hawthorn
This bushy, flowering tree can grow up to around 25 feet tall. Even though they're part of the rose family, they produce fruit similar to an apple which makes for great jams and jellies.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Neyya
Montana - Bitterroot
The bitterroot has been the official state flower of Montana since 1895. It can be found throughout the state from spring through the summer. The purple flowers are so prominent in Montana that the Bitterroot Mountains, the Bitterroot Valley and the Bitterroot River are named after this plant.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / MelodyanneM
Nebraska - Goldenrod
When the Nebraska Legislature designated the goldenrod as the official state flower in 1895, they said it was done to "foster a feeling of pride in our state, and stimulate an interest in the history and traditions of the commonwealth."
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / krblokhin
Nevada - Big sagebrush
The big sagebrush is an evergreen plant that grows best in arid places and flowers from late summer through the fall. Commonly seen throughout the deserts of the western part of the United States, the big sagebrush was designated as the official state flower of Nevada in 1917.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Tom Meaker
New Hampshire - Purple lilac
A hardy plant, the purple lilac was chosen in 1919 to be the official state flower to represent the resilience of the men and women of New Hampshire. Though they're not native to North America (they're originally from Europe and Asia) they've been growing in botanical gardens in the United States as far back as the 1750s.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / altanakin
New Jersey - Purple violet
The purple violet was recognized as the state flower in New Jersey as early as 1913, but it wasn't until 1971 when garden clubs pressed the Legislature to make it official. New Jersey shares the purple violet as its state flower with Illinois, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / kamira777
New Mexico - Yucca
Early settlers to New Mexico called the white flowers of the yucca "our Lord's candles." They used the plant's roots as soap and shampoo. Though the yucca comes from the same family as the lily, this plant loves hot, dry places and flourishes in the desert.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / HaiGala
New York - Rose
Though native species differ from continent to continent, roses can be found throughout the world. Humans have been cultivating ornamental roses for millennia, with the earliest evidence of cultivation dating back to 500 BC in the Mediterranean, Persia and China.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Ogphoto
North Carolina - Dogwood
The blooming of dogwood trees is a surefire sign of spring. North Carolina loves the dogwood so much, they have five festivals dedicated to it, and every year they crown a new Dogwood Queen.
Explore: 50 states, 50 books: Travel the country with these evocative reads
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / JosieN
North Dakota - Wild prairie rose
In 1889, the University of North Dakota chose pink and green as their school colors because of the wild prairie rose. They said it was "suggestive of our green prairies and rosy prospects." In 1907, that symbolic meaning was used to support the approval of the wild prairie rose as North Dakota's official state flower.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / y-studio
Ohio - Scarlet carnation
The scarlet carnation, also known as the Lamborn Carnation, became the state flower of Ohio in 1904. It was adopted three years after President McKinley's assassination and was seen as a "token of love and reverence to the memory of William McKinley."
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / -asi
Oklahoma - Oklahoma rose
The most recent state flower adoption in the U.S. was the Oklahoma rose in 2004, replacing the longtime state flower, mistletoe (which remains the official floral emblem). The rose was selected to succeed mistletoe because citizens supported the idea of recognizing a flower that's more cultivated and not seen as a parasite, like mistletoe was.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Reimphoto
Oregon - Oregon grape
Similar to English holly, the Oregon grape is an ornamental plant with little yellow flowers that turn to dark purple berries in the fall. Though they're a bit too acidic to use for baking or winemaking, settlers enjoyed using them in the kitchen.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / ouchi_iro
Pennsylvania - Mountain laurel
If you believe in parallel universes, there is likely an alternative timeline where the pink azalea became Pennsylvania's state flower and not the mountain laurel. That's because in 1933, two bills were passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly naming the state flower – one was for the mountain laurel and the other was for the pink azalea.
Governor Gifford Pinchot ended up signing the one that declared the mountain laurel as Pennsylvania's official state flower into law.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / fotolinchen
Rhode Island - Violet
There are anywhere from 400 to 500 species of violets in the world, most of which grow in the northern hemisphere. The violet was chosen by Rhode Island school children to be the state flower in 1897, but it didn't become official until 1968.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / portgrimes
South Carolina - Yellow jessamine
The yellow jessamine, also known as the Carolina jessamine, is native to the state of South Carolina, which is one of the reasons it was chosen to be the state flower in 1924. It is also nicknamed the trumpet vine because its yellow flowers look somewhat like trumpets.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / adrianciurea69
South Dakota - Pasque flower
The pasque flower is a vibrant purple flower with a bright yellow center that grows wild in the prairies of South Dakota. Also known as the Easter flower, it is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, sometimes before the snow is gone.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / TonyBaggett
Tennessee - Purple iris
Irises come in many colors, and though the purple iris is accepted as the state flower of Tennessee, a color is technically not specified in the official legislation.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / hartcreations
Texas - Texas bluebonnet
The bluebonnet is named after what it resembles – a woman's blue sunbonnet. Blooming in early spring, the bluebonnet became one of Lady Bird Johnson's favorite flowers. When Lady Bird first arrived to Austin, Texas, she saw a field of bluebonnets as her plane landed. It is said in that moment, she fell in love with the city instantly.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / (c) Salil Bhatt
Utah - Sego lily
Utah's official state bird (the California gull) and official state flower were both chosen because of a devastating plague of crickets that devoured crops throughout Utah in the 1800s. Whereas the California gull helped to destroy the population of crickets by eating the invasive pests, the sego lily was eaten and served as sustenance to the people of Utah.
Sports & Outdoors: Do you know all 50 state birds?
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / KariHoglund
Vermont - Red clover
The red clover was chosen as the state flower to represent Vermont's farms and fields. The state has around 700 dairy farms and grows clover to help feed cows and other farm animals.
Photo courtesy of E+ / Ogphoto
Virginia - Dogwood
The dogwood is not only Virginia's official state flower, it's also Virginia's official state tree. The wood of a dogwood tree is very hard and was often used to make things like handles for for tools, arrows and loom shuttles.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / tab1962
Washington - Pacific rhododendron
During the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, there was an exhibit where each state had to submit a representative floral emblem. The rhododendron was selected to symbolize Washington state, but it wasn't made official until 1952.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / krblokhin
West Virginia - Rhododendron
Choosing the state flower of West Virginia was held up to a vote in 1903. The rhododendron won, beating out honeysuckle and the wild rose.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Danler
Wisconsin - Wood violet
Though it goes by a different name, the wood violet is also known as the purple violet. The flower was selected by school children in 1908, and it became the official state flower in 1909. It was selected because it represented Wisconsin's scenic beauty.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images / Nnehring
Wyoming - Indian paintbrush
Though its bright petals that splay upwards from its stem look like a paintbrush, it also looks like a flame, which is why the Indian paintbrush is also known as prairie-fire. This plant is native to the western parts of North and South America, and there are upwards of 200 different species that grow as far north as Alaska and as far south as the Andes mountain range.