Do you know your state's flower?
Do you know your state's flower?
Most denizens of any of the 50 United States likely feel some sense of pride for their home state. While many of these inhabitants can likely discuss the cultural norms of their home or verbally unload trivia about their local sports teams, some might get lost in naming the specific symbols chosen to represent their state. Possibly the easiest fact to remember is a state flag, but further down would probably be state nicknames, mottos, and birds.
Each of the 50 states has adopted its own flower, with each representing not only the environment but the perceived persona of that state. These traits may include a flower's medicinal properties, aesthetic, and color, or history tying it to a historical figure or U.S. president. In some cases, state flowers may have been chosen by public consensus or votes. Every state legislature is responsible for officially designating a state flower, which is native but not necessarily exclusive to that state.
Stacker has compiled a quiz to see how well you know your state's flower. The quiz includes all 50 state flowers—not including “state wildflowers,” which some states such as Alabama and Louisiana have. Some state flowers are evident from their name alone—the origin of the “California poppy” and the “Rocky Mountain columbine”—might be easy to guess. Others, such as the peach blossom or the Cherokee rose, aren't quite as easy to figure out. For each slide in this gallery, you'll get information on a state flower's characteristics, smell, blooming season, and even historical background. Each subsequent slide will reveal the flower's name.
Think you can guess your home state's flower, and a few others? Read on to find out.
RELATED: Do you know your state nicknames?
Also called “the rose of winter,” Alabama's state flower was designated in 1959, replacing the goldenrod. While this flower can be found in Alabama, it is also native to a number of Asian countries, including China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. With smooth and polished leaves, this flower is known for its distinct shades of white, pink, and red.
Alabama flower: Camellia
Adopted by the organization called the “Grand Igloo” in 1907, long before Alaska was an official state, this true blue flower has a long history with the northernmost state in the country. This flower grows in open and rocky parts of the state during the midsummer, coming in other varieties such as the mountain forget-me-nots and splendid forget-me-nots. It is fragrant during the nighttime, but gives off no scent during the day.
Alaska flower: Alpine forget-me-not
Arizona's state flower is indigenous to the region and can grow up to 50-feet-high and live for up to 200 years. These flowers do not grow off of bushes or shrubs, and thrive in the desert, particularly the Sonoran Desert. Harming this flower is illegal in Arizona, meaning construction projects must take special precautions should any be in their way.
Arizona flower: Saguaro cactus blossom
This flower was designated as the flower for Arkansas in 1901, a period of time when the state was one of the country's biggest apple producers. While disease and frost eventually tarnished the state's reputation as such, this flower still remains as a symbol for that time. These flowers can be seen in clusters of pink and white, giving off a honeysuckle scent.
Arkansas flower: Apple blossom
California may be a large state, but its state flower can be as small as 2 inches short. It can also be named the flame flower, la amapola, or copa de oro, the latter meaning “cup of gold.” Indigenous peoples in California found the flower to be an important resource, taking advantage of it for food and oil; the flower is also quite drought-resistant.
California flower: California Poppy
This flower was chosen to represent the state of Colorado based on a vote by school children in 1899. It is known for its blue-violet petals and spurs, its white cup, and a yellow center—the blue is said to represent the sky, the white for snow, and the yellow for Colorado's history with gold mining. It is also referenced in Colorado's official state song.
Colorado flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine
These flowers, also called ivy-bush, calico bush, sheep laurel, lambkill, clamoun, and spoonwood, have a distinct star shape to them. Blooming en masse in the months of May and June, these come in shades of pink, white, or red. Grown throughout the eastern coast of the U.S., these flowers add some visual flair to travelers on the Interstate Route 95.
Connecticut flower: Mountain laurel
Designated in 1895, this flower was representative of Delaware's then-reputation as the “Peach State.” At the time, these blossoms could be seen all over the shoreline of Delaware's coast, but after a spread of disease, these flowers are rare in the state today. Light pink to light purple in color, these flowers can be a range of sizes and heights.
Delaware flower: Peach blossom
Florida's official state flower recalls the familiar imagery of sunshine and oranges usually associated with the state. The arrival of this flower every year is cause for celebration, with a three-day rodeo and a large music event celebrating the agricultural history of the state. Millions of these flowers spread their aroma throughout central and southern Florida as they blossom.
Florida flower: Orange blossom
This flower was widely distributed by the Cherokee indigenous tribe, the flower being waxy white with a golden center. Blooming in early spring, this flower is surrounded by green leaves and has plenty of thorns. This flower has a rich aroma and has been used for medicinal purposes for millions of years.
Georgia flower: Cherokee rose
A symbol of old royalty, the Hawaiian state flower represents power and respect. With tourism such a large part of Hawaii's economy, visitors have undoubtedly seen or received this yellow flower. While each island of Hawaii has its own flower to represent it, this particular flower is the most popular, and it was the one chosen by the state to represent it as a whole.
Hawaii flower: Pua Aloalo
This wildflower has a snowy white color, turning Idaho hillsides white during the spring. Its species name of “lewisii” is named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition, as Lewis wrote about the flower during his travels. With four to five waxy petals, this state flower has a sweet and strong fragrance to it.
Idaho flower: Syringa
Like some other states, Illinois chose its state flower from a vote conducted by schoolchildren. These flowers grow in abundance all throughout Illinois, able to grow in both shade and sunlight. Named for its color, these flowers can also be found in shades of light blue and white—outside of Illinois, some may call these flowers “pansies.”
Illinois flower: Violet
Replacing the zinnia flower in 1957, Indiana's current state flower comes in various forms and colors. Primarily used as ornamental plants, these scented flowers can be found in shades of red, pink, yellow, and white. Along with Indiana, these flowers are in a wide range of locations, including Asia, southern Europe, and western North America.
Indiana flower: Peony
Adopted in 1897, these flowers bloom throughout the summer and are found in various shades of pink with yellow stamens at the center. To the early European settlers in the area, this flower represented resilience and beauty. Even before, the indigenous people used the flower for medicinal and nutritional purposes, using the “fruit” to create eye drops and producing syrup to treat stomach problems.
Iowa flower: Wild rose
Less than a decade before Kansas declared this to be its official state flower, lawmakers unsuccessfully called to eradicate this “noxious weed.” In turning it into the state's flower in 1903, lawmakers credited it for representing the state's “frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairies,” and the state's past and present. With numerous practical uses, this flower is more than its aesthetic beauty.
Kansas flower: Wild native sunflower
Replacing Kentucky bluegrass in 1926, which admittedly is not an actual flower, the succeeding state flower is a long and leggy yellow plant. Thriving in various soil conditions, this flower can be seen covering fields during the late summer and early fall season. One particular species of this flower can even grow up to 8 feet tall.
Kentucky flower: Goldenrod
With streets, school, buildings, and other places named after this flower, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular state flowers. It has enormous and showy waxy petals, with colors ranging from creamy white to pink. The oldest known ancestral plant, which existed 140 million years ago, resembled this flower.
Louisiana flower: Magnolia
Though not exactly a flower, what the state of Maine chose does carry historical and cultural significance. Coming from the largest conifer found in the state, the tree that this “flower” comes from is present in the state's flag, seal, quarter, and even nickname. Ultimately, Maine residents chose this over the goldenrod and the apple blossom.
Maine flower: White pine cone and tassel
Established as the state's official flower in 1918, these flowers are found all over Maryland's fields and roadsides, with its colors matching the state's flag, and even the state's insect and cat. With 13 yellow petals and a dark center, this wildflower grows in dry places. Traditionally, the root is used to treat colds.
Maryland flower: Black-eyed Susan
Sharing the same name as a famous sea vessel, this flower was chosen by Massachusetts schoolchildren in 1918. As a popular flower, it was over-collected to the point that it became illegal in 1925 to remove it from its natural setting. These small flowers bloom in clusters and give off a fragrant, “spicy” scent.
Massachusetts flower: Mayflower
Ranking third in apple production in the country, Michigan made a fitting choice for its state flower in 1897. Flourishing off the shores of Lake Michigan, these flowers thrive from the lake-influenced weather.
Michigan flower: Apple blossom
Since 1925, this state flower has been considered so rare, endangered, and precious that it is protected by state law. Even before its designation as the official state flower, it was already considered to have that status. It is brightly colored and small, developing so slow that it could take up to 16 years to produce its first flower.
Minnesota flower: Pink and white lady slipper
With this flower being the namesake of Mississippi's nickname, it has long been admired by the state's citizens. In 1900, this flower beat out the cotton blossom and the cape jasmine in a vote from schoolchildren to become the official state flower. With a sweet perfume, this milky white flower has cup-like blooms and numerous petals.
Mississippi flower: Magnolia
This flower belongs to the rose family, producing tiny fruits called pomes used to make jam. Designated as Missouri's state flower in 1923, hundreds of species of this flower exists. As it can grow thick and up to 25 feet in height, this flower can provide shelter for birds and other kinds of wildlife.
Missouri flower: White Hawthorn blossom
With a strong indigenous heritage, Montana's official state flower was chosen in 1895, not long after the World's Fair in Chicago that inspired numerous states to adopt a flower. With the genus name Lewisia inspired by explorer Meriwether Lewis, this was one of the prominent flowers observed by Lewis and Clark, noted for its purplish-pink color.
Montana flower: Bitterroot
This flower was designated Nebraska's state flower in 1895, the reason given to "foster a feeling of pride in our state, and stimulate an interest in the history and traditions of the Commonwealth." Also known as Solidago gigantea, this flower is abundant in the woodlands of Nebraska. The Omaha people would use the flower's late bloom to their advantage in hunting buffalo, also using the flower itself for various medicinal uses.
Nebraska flower: Goldenrod
While these tall, silvery gray flowers add color to Nevada, they also have various practical purposes. Indigenous people would use the flower for weaving, and in the winter, cattle and sheep would use the flower as a source for food. Growing in the desert, this flower has a strong, pungent fragrance.
Nevada flower: Sagebrush
Imported from England, New Hampshire's state flower is said to have been discovered by historian Leon Anderson. Robust and sturdy, its aesthetic beauty and fragrance are admired not just by New Hampshire residents, but gardeners worldwide. These flowers can withstand cold winters, growing better in areas with frost.
New Hampshire flower: Purple lilac
Originally designated as New Jersey's flower in 1913, the legislative resolution's power ended the following year, causing uncertainty of its official status until another decision in 1971. This flower has five petals that are blue or purple in color, with dark noticeable veins. This flower is also edible, used as an ingredient in jellies and candies, and as decoration for baking.
New Jersey flower: Violet
The leaves of New Mexico's official state flower are described as sword-shaped, with these flowers clustering into towers quite prominent in dry landscapes. Selected by schoolchildren in 1927, this flower comes in numerous different species. Sometimes called “our Lord's candles,” the roots of this flower can be used to make soap and shampoo, and the flowers themselves can be ground up and made into candies.
New Mexico flower: Yucca
While schoolchildren in New York chose this to be the state flower back in 1890, it was not made official until 1955. One of the most recognizable flowers anywhere, it is also the national flower. With a rich aroma and familiar appearance, this flower has been prominent in fiction and history alike.
New York flower: Rose
Common in North Carolina, the state's flower can be found from the coast all the way to the mountains. This flower is around for the entirety of the year, changing its appearance each season. Less of a flower and more like a tree with flowers, this can grow up to 30 to 40 feet at its maturity.
North Carolina flower: Dogwood
The official state flower of North Dakota has three species, named the Rosa blanda, Rosa arkansana, and Rosa pratincola. It has five large pink petals and a rich aroma, with its hips providing a source of food for animals. Despite its beauty, the USDA considers this flower to be a weed.
North Dakota flower: Wild prairie rose
The selection of this flower by Ohio in 1904 was meant to honor President William McKinley, who was assassinated three years prior. This Ohioan native would often wear this flower, which represented love, respect, and reverence, on his lapel for good luck. Despite its name, this flower can also be seen in white, pink, or purple varieties.
Ohio flower: Red carnation
One of many flowers recognized with significance by Oklahoma, this specific flower was recognized by the state government in 2004. Known for its fragrance and beauty, this Oklahoma variation of a well-known flower is widely popular in gardening clubs around the state. With a deep-red pigmentation, its color is said to represent the bloodshed from the forced relocation of indigenous people in the 1800s.
Oklahoma flower: Oklahoma rose
Also called the holly-leaved barberry, Oregon's official state flower is a shrub native to the Pacific coast. In the early summer, this flower bears dainty yellow flowers and ripens into a dark blueberry late in the fall. Tea made by steeping the plant's roots is believed to relieve a number of ailments.
Oregon flower: Oregon grape
This light pink flower can be found across the large state of Pennsylvania, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. An evergreen shrub related to the rhododendron, this flower is an import from Europe, originally used as an ornamental plant. In the 1930s, the flower was chosen to be the state's flower over the pink azalea.
Pennsylvania flower: Mountain laurel
Despite being selected by Rhode Island schoolchildren in 1897, it took until 1968 for the state to adopt this plant as its official state flower. After blossoming into a snowy white or rich purple color, this flower produces a second set of blossoms.
Rhode Island flower: Violet
"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,” said the South Carolina legislature of this state's flower. Despite its “pureness,” this flower is actually quite poisonous. Its yellow color has attracted bees, but has consequently killed off entire hives.
South Carolina flower: Yellow jessamine
Also called the May Day flower, prairie crocus, wind flower, Easter flower, and meadow anemone, South Dakota's state flower has a lavender color. It is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring before the winter snow even thaws. Discovered long before European settlers arrived, this flower was celebrated by indigenous songs and legends.
South Dakota flower: American pasque
Known as the “state cultivated flower” of Tennessee, this flower comes in a variety of colors, with purple being the most recognizable. Tennessee gardeners will often grow these flowers as decorative borders for their gardens. These flowers consist of three standard petals and three drooping petals.
Tennessee flower: Iris
Adopted by Texas in 1901, this flower is named for its distinct color and shape. During the 1930s, the state's highway department had the initiative to plant more of these flowers along highways. This wildflower is celebrated once a year in Texas every April 24.
Texas flower: Bluebonnet
Established as Utah's state flower in 1911, this flower blooms early in the summer. It has historical significance to the state, with its soft and bulbous root collected and eaten in the 1840s as a plague of crickets devoured the state's crops. This flower flourishes in hot and dry conditions.
Utah flower: Sego lily
This plant was established to be Vermont's official flower in 1894. Brought over to the state from Europe, this red flower was eventually naturalized, where it now grows throughout the northern U.S. Chosen by vote, this flower overwhelmingly overtook four other choices for the official state flower.
Vermont flower: Red clover
Along with being Virginia's official state flower, this is also the official state tree as of 1956. With graceful branches, this tree also produces red berries. Its blooms are not flowers, but rather bracts that attract pollinators.
Virginia flower: American dogwood
Like many other states, Washington's choice for a state flower came about as a result of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Even with its selection, this pale pink flower was not the official state flower until 1959. This flower is native to the Pacific coast of North America, extending all the way to the Cascade Mountains.
Washington flower: Coast rhododendron
More than 15,000 votes from schoolchildren resulted in this flower overcoming the honeysuckle and the wild rose as West Virginia's official flower. A flowering shrub that blooms into purple, white, and pink in the spring, this flower flourishes on ravines and hillsides. Clusters of this flower can contain up to 25 flowers.
West Virginia flower: Rhododendron
This flower was chosen to represent Wisconsin because of its ability to thrive in the state's wet climate and woodland environment. Chosen by Wisconsin schoolchildren in 1908, this flower was not officially designated as such until 1949. The flower has five purple petals, with three upper and two lower petals.
Wisconsin flower: Wood violet
Wyoming's state flower was established in 1917, and is found on rocky slopes and plains. Its designation was initially controversial, as the flower had many varieties and was quite rare in the state. Nevertheless, Wyoming school children gravitated toward this red, semi-parasitic flower.
Wyoming flower: Indian paintbrush