Flower Facts Flower Information

All 50 Official State Flowers

Map of all 50 official state flowers with the flower graphic on the state

Just like every person has their own favorite bouquet, each state has a flower to represent its unique landscapes and history. Not only are these state flowers beautiful, but they provide a look at each state’s values.

Next time you want to send someone a bit of local love or throw down in trivia, call on your state flower knowledge! We’re going to cover each state flower, plus we’ll let you in on some fun flower facts and the history of state flowers.

History of State Flowers

All fifty states have an official state flower, but the ways they arrived upon their floral symbol are quite different. Some states couldn’t wait to designate a flower to represent their homes, while others choose a flower as more of a way to meet an invisible obligation.

Why Do States Have State Flowers?

Like many other state symbols, state flowers serve as a way for a state to recognize items that are important to its landscapes or history. In many cases, state schoolchildren voted on a state flower. However, the actual declaration of a state flower fell upon state legislators.

Many state flowers are native to their states, but others are prized by local florists around America. One thing is for sure: the state flower has a special tie to its home state.

When Was the First State Flower Chosen?

Washington adopted the first state flower in 1892. The women of Washington chose the coastal rhododendron to represent this Pacific Northwest state at the Chicago World’s Fair. While it was known as the state flower for many years, the Washington Legislature didn’t officially recognize the flower until 1959.

Why Do Some States Have Two State Flowers?

While it’s called the state flower, some states haven’t been able to contain their floral love to just one species. In many cases, a state has an “official” state flower and a state wildflower.

Some states have changed their state flower over time. When a new flower takes the title of state flower, the old champion often becomes the state wildflower or state cultivated flower.

Additionally, one flower doesn’t always represent the whole state. For example, flowers in Los Angeles are quite different from flowers found in Northern California.

Growing State Flowers for a Native Garden

Interested in planting a native garden? Great! But before you get going with your state flower as your guide, take a minute to stop and think. While you may assume all state flowers are native to their homes, this isn’t always the case.

Sure, lots of places choose a flower that naturally grows in their range, but there are other places to draw inspiration. Some states choose their symbolic flower based on plant breeding efforts that went on in the state (we’re looking at you, Oklahoma). Other states rely on famous people or events that involved a flower.

With all that said, the vast majority of state flowers are native to their representative state. Once you make sure that the flower is endemic to your area, you can incorporate it into your native garden. Add in some other native flowers and you’ll have a garden that provides food and shelter for birds, butterflies, bees, and more!

If you need help determining which flowers are native to your home, check with local gardening clubs and native plant societies. They can help you find plants that will offer a wide range of benefits to local insects and birds.

State Flowers List

State Flower Scientific Name Year Adopted Fun Fact
Alabama Camellia Camellia japonica 1959 While the camellia is grown throughout the Southeast US, it’s native to East Asia.
Alaska Forget-me-not Myosotis alpestris 1917 Alpine forget-me-nots blanket rocky mountains with blue during Alaska summers.
Arizona Saguaro cactus blossom Carnegiea gigantea 1931 The saguaro cactus is the largest cactus in the United States; these plants can grow over 40 feet tall!
Arkansas Apple blossom Malus spp. 1901 When Arkansas declared the apple blossom the state flower it was a major apple producer.
California California poppy Eschscholzia californica 1903 California poppies cover certain hillsides and fields during the spring and summer, especially when ideal weather conditions lead to superblooms.
Colorado Rocky Mountain columbine Aquilegia coerulea 1899 A 1925 law prohibits the digging and collection of this columbine due to its rare status
Connecticut Mountain laurel Kalmia latifolia 1907 Mountain laurel is an evergreen, so it adds color even after its white and pink flowers fade.
Delaware Peach blossom Prunus persica 1953 The peach blossom was declared the floral emblem in 1895 before becoming the state flower in 1953. In 1895, Delaware had over 800,000 peach trees.
Florida Orange blossom Citrus sinensis 1909 Beekeepers bring in hives to pollinate citrus groves, and the result is a citrusy orange blossom honey.
Georgia Cherokee rose Rosa laevigata 1916 While this rose is named after the Cherokee people, it is native to East Asia.
Hawaii Yellow hibiscus Hibiscus brackenridgei 1988 All colors of hibiscus were declared the state flower in the 1920s until the yellow hibiscus was selected in 1988.
Illinois Violet Viola spp. 1907 There are at least eight different species of blue violets in Illinois, although it can be hard to tell them apart.
Indiana Peony Paeonia spp. 1957 The zinnia was the Indiana state flower from 1931 to 1957.
Iowa Wild rose Rosa arkansana 1897 The wild rose was etched on silver given to the battleship the USS Iowa.
Kansas Sunflower Helianthus annuus 1903 Sunflowers rotate to follow the sun; a phenomenon known as heliotropism.
Kentucky Giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea 1926 Not only is goldenrod beautiful, but it also feeds many pollinators.
Louisiana Magnolia Magnolia spp. 1900 Magnolia flowers fill the air with a sweet, floral scent.
Maine White pine cone Pinus strobus 1895 Pine trees don’t require flowers to produce seeds, but they do have male and female cones.
Maryland Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta 1918 Black-eyed Susans are native to the majority of US states, making them a great choice for native gardens.
Massachusetts Mayflower Epigaea repens 1918 Mayflowers are some of the first flowers to emerge in the spring…they can even be found in melting snow.
Michigan Apple blossom Malus spp. 1897 There are over a hundred apple varieties available today, but only some are grown commercially.
Minnesota Pink and white lady’s slipper Cypripedium reginae 1902 Like all lady’s slippers, this plant is a temperate orchid.
Mississippi Evergreen magnolia Magnolia spp. Magnolia spp. While magnolias are evergreen, they drop their leaves throughout the year.
Missouri Hawthorn Crataegus spp. 1923 Researchers are exploring the ways hawthorn can benefit heart health.
Montana Bitterroot Lewisia rediviva 1894 Dried bitterroot roots can be used as nutritional supplements when food is scarce.
Nebraska Giant goldenrod Solidago gigantea 1895 While some people claim goldenrod causes allergies, its pollen is too heavy for the wind to carry.
Nevada Sagebrush Artemisia tridentata 1967 Sagebrush is used to make many items including tea, ropes, and blankets.
New Hampshire Purple lilac Syringa vulgaris 1919 While lilacs can be found throughout New Hampshire, they were introduced from Europe.
New Jersey Purple violet Viola sororia 1971 Violet seeds are contained in a capsule that explodes to release the seeds.
New Mexico Yucca flower Yucca spp. 1927 Yucca flowers are pollinated by yucca moths.
New York Rose Rosa spp. 1955 The fruit of the rose, a rosehip, is high in vitamin C. So call on these New York flowers when you’re feeling like you need a boost.
North Carolina Flowering dogwood Cornus florida 1941 The dogwood signals the arrival of spring, as noted by the numerous North Carolina dogwood festivals held in April.
North Dakota Wild prairie rose Rosa blanda 1907 The first class of the University of North Dakota relied on the prairie rose for inspiration regarding the school’s colors.
Ohio Scarlet carnation Dianthus caryophyllus 1953 The scarlet carnation honors assassinated Ohioan President William McKinley.
Oklahoma Oklahoma rose Rosa ‘Oklahoma’ 2004 The Oklahoma rose is one of the most fragrant tea roses.
Oregon Oregon grape Mahonia aquifolium 1899 The inner bark of the Oregon grape can be used to produce a yellow dye that resembles the plant’s bright flowers.
Pennsylvania Mountain laurel Kalmia latifolia 1933 The Laurel Highlands region of PA is named after this flowering shrub.
Rhode Island Violet Viola spp. 1968 Not all violets are purple; they come in shades including white and yellow.
South Carolina Yellow jessamine Gelsemium sempervirens 1924 This yellow flower blooms in late winter signaling that spring is on its way.
South Dakota Pasque flower Pulsatilla hirsutissima 1903 This plant is toxic upon ingestion, but herbalists have used it to create medicinal products.
Tennessee Iris Iris spp. 1933 Before the iris was chosen as a state flower, Tennessee children chose the passionflower as a state symbol.
Texas Bluebonnet Lupinus spp. 1901 In the 1930s the Texas highway department undertook an effort to spread bluebonnets throughout the state. Therefore, they are one of the most recognizable flowers in Dallas and other Texas cities.
Utah Sego lily 1911 1959 Native Americans ate the sego lily’s roots. They passed their knowledge about the plant to the Mormons who entered Utah.
Vermont Red clover Trifolium pratense 1894 Red clover is grown throughout Vermont as both animal feed and a ground cover.
Virginia American dogwood Cornus florida 1918 The wood of the dogwood tree is very strong, which makes it prized for items like tool handles and arrows.
Washington Coast rhododendron Rhododendron macrophyllum 1892 Washington women selected the coast rhododendron to represent the state at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
West Virginia Great rhododendron Rhododendron maximum 1903 All parts of the great rhododendron are extremely toxic to humans upon ingestion.
Wisconsin Wood violet Viola papilionacea 1909 The small but beautiful wood violet is found across Wisconsin fields and forests.
Wyoming Indian paintbrush Castilleja linariaefolia 1917 Indian paintbrushes are hemiparasitic which means they can steal nutrients from other plants.

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