50 US State Flowers and Their Flower Meanings

50 US State Flowers and Their Flower Meanings

If you're proud of your state and love gorgeous flowers, you'll be thrilled to know there's a tasteful and elegant way to combine these two passions. Read on and discover all 50 U.S. state flowers.

Where It All Began: History of U.S. State Flowers 

State flowers weren't chosen at random. The tradition of adopting state flowers in the United States began in 1892. The first state to choose an official flower was Washington, selecting the coastal rhododendron through a public vote involving over 15,000 women at the Chicago World's Fair when women didn't even have the right to vote. This democratic process inspired other states to follow suit, and the trend of selecting state floral emblems spread nationwide. As the United States grew, state legislatures aimed to establish unique emblems to honor their individuality and cultivate pride among residents. Like state flags and birds, official state flowers emerged as a beautiful and unifying way to showcase each state's diversity and magnificent flora. 

What Is My State Flower?

Alabama - Camellia (Camellia japonica)

The camellia is a beautiful flowering shrub named Alabama's state flower in 1959. It is a symbol of love and devotion. 

Alaska - Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis alpestris)

The forget-me-not is a small but lovely blue wildflower with a long history in the state. It was chosen as the official flower in 1917, even before Alaska became a U.S. state in 1959. In flower meanings, forget-me-nots are known for fidelity and remembrance.

Arizona - Saguaro Cactus Blossom (Carnegiea gigantea)

The Saguaro Cactus Blossom grows exclusively in the Sonoran Desert. It became Arizona's state flower in 1931 and is considered an iconic symbol of the American Southwest. Their strong presence amidst the harsh desert environment makes them a symbol of resilience, adaptability, and longevity.

Arkansas -  Apple Blossom (Malus spp.)

Apple blossoms were hailed as Arkansas' official state flower in 1901. Their delicate blooms represent springtime, love and fertility, new beginnings and hope, and renewal and transformation.

CaliforniaCalifornia Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

The California poppy was chosen as the state's official flower in 1903. They thrive in dry conditions, a reflection of perseverance and the ability to overcome challenges.

Colorado - Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea)

This charming wildflower is native to the Rocky Mountains and was chosen as Colorado's official flower in 1899. The name "columbine" itself comes from the Latin word for "dove," referencing its delicate and graceful form. In flower meanings, columbines symbolize innocence and purity.

Connecticut - Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

The Mountain laurel was declared Connecticut's state flower in 1907. Its wide geographical range suggests its resilience and ability to thrive in various conditions. 

Delaware - Peach Blossom (Prunus persica)

Peach Blossom was chosen in 1895 as a reflection of Delaware's nickname, "The Peach State," due to the abundance of peach orchards that once flourished there. It represents the state's agricultural heritage, springtime beauty, and new beginnings.

Florida - Orange Blossom (Citrus sinensis)

Orange blossoms were declared Florida's official state flower in 1909. They have been celebrated as symbols of good fortune and happiness for centuries. In some cultures, they are incorporated into celebrations to usher in prosperity.

Georgia - Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata)

Cherokee Rose was hailed as Georgia's official state flower in 1916 with the help of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs. In flower meaning, it represents the beauty and hope that persists even during challenging times.

Hawaii - Yellow Hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei)

Also known as ma'o hau hele in Hawaiian, all colors of hibiscus were declared the state flower in the 1920s until the yellow hibiscus was selected in 1988. The bright yellow hibiscus flower conveys sunny vibes and positive emotions. Unfortunately, the yellow hibiscus faces endangerment in the wild.

Idaho - Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii)

The Syringa was declared Idaho's state flower in 1931. Also known as the mock orange, it is a flowering shrub with clusters of white blooms that boast a strong, sweet fragrance.

Illinois - Violets (Viola spp.)

Violet is the official state flower of Illinois. Known for its small size and preference for shaded areas, it is linked to modesty and humility flower meanings.

Indiana - Peony (Paeonia spp.)

Indiana has actually had three different state flowers throughout its history; the peony ultimately won the hearts and votes of Indiana residents in 1957. Peonies are brides' favorites in wedding bouquets because they represent a happy marriage and a full and joyful life together.

Iowa - Wild Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana)

The wild prairie rose is  Iowa's state's flower, officially declared in 1897. It was etched on the silver service presented to the battleship USS Iowa that same year. It is a symbol of strength and beauty, much like the spirit of Iowa's pioneers who settled the land. 

Kentucky - Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Kentucky's official state flower is the goldenrod. Its bright yellow flowers symbolize good fortune, success, and prosperity.

Louisiana - Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Louisiana's state flower is the Southern magnolia, where these gorgeous white flowering trees grow in abundance. They symbolize good American life and stability.



Maine - White Pine Cone (Pinus strobus) and Tassel 

The white pine cone was chosen as the state flower of Maine in 1895. The pine cone and tassel symbolize this history and the ongoing importance of forestry in the state. White pine cone is also a symbol of human enlightenment and eternal life. 

Maryland - Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

The black-eyed Susan was chosen as Maryland's official flower in 1918. This wildflower with bright yellow petals and a stark black center symbolizes justice.

Massachusetts - Mayflower (Epigaea repens)

Also known as the trailing arbutus, the mayflower was chosen as Massachusetts's official flower in 1918. Its delicate beauty is thought to reflect the perseverance of the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 on a ship of the same name. In flower meanings, mayflowers symbolize fertility, hope, and healthy boundaries.

Kansas - Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

The sunflower is Kansas' official state flower, hence it is dubbed "The Sunflower State." Sunflowers are known for constantly turning towards the sun, symbolizing unwavering optimism, hope for the future, and a cheerful outlook.

Michigan - Apple Blossom (Malus spp.)

Apple blossoms were chosen as Michigan's state flower in 1897 to highlight its long history and importance as a top apple producer in the United States. It carries a subtle message of springtime renewal and the promise of a fruitful harvest.

Minnesota - Pink and White Lady's Slippers (Cypripedium reginae)

Pink and White Lady's Slipper orchids were officially adopted as Minnesota's state flower in 1902, making it the first state to have an orchid as its official flower. Unlike many abundant wildflowers, the showy lady's slipper is an exquisite orchid species that symbolizes rarity and beauty.

Mississippi - Magnolia (Magnolia spp.)

Mississippi's state flower is the magnolia. They bloom from evergreen trees that endures harsh weather and remain beautiful year-round. White magnolia symbolizes purity, perfection, and nobility.

Missouri - Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)

Missouri's official floral emblem is the hawthorn. In flower meanings, it symbolizes love, happiness, and protection.

Montana - Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva)

Montana's official state flower is the bitterroot. Its Latin name, "rediviva," translates to "brought back to life" and is often called "the resurrection flower."  

Nebraska - Giant Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

The giant goldenrod was designated Nebraska's official flower in 1895 It's a hardy wildflower that symbolizes abundance, good luck, and encouragement.

Nevada - Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)

The sagebrush is a hardy, aromatic shrub that thrives in the state's desert environment. It was officially adopted as the state flower in 1917. In traditional Native American culture, it symbolizes healing and resilience.

New Hampshire - Purple Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

The purple lilac was chosen as New Hampshire's official state flower in 1919 after a lively debate among residents. This spring flower has a flower meaning related to first love and innocence. It is also a traditional flower gift for couples celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary

New Jersey - Purple Violet (Viola sororia)

Also known as the meadow violet,  the purple violet was designated New Jersey's state flower in 1971. It is a symbol of modesty and faithfulness.

New Mexico - Yucca Flower (Yucca glauca)

The yucca is a resilient plant that thrives in the state's arid climate. In 1927, it was chosen as the official flower of New Mexico. Yucca flowers represent new beginnings, loyalty, protection, and purity.

New York - Rose (Rosa spp.)

In 1955, the rose, in all its varieties and colors, was adopted as the official flower of New York. Roses have diverse flower meanings depending on color and number of stems, ranging from romance, courage, and joy, to royalty. 

North Carolina - Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

North Carolina's state flower is the flowering dogwood. It was formally chosen by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1941. The flowering dogwood is a cherished symbol of spring. 

North Dakota - Wild Prairie Rose (Rosa blanda)

North Dakota's state flower is the wild prairie rose, which the legislature officially adopted in 1907. 

Ohio - Scarlet Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Ohio's state flower, the scarlet carnation, was chosen in 1904 to honor its native President William McKinley. 

Red carnations are traditionally associated with love and respect. 

Oklahoma - Oklahoma Rose (Rosa 'Oklahoma')

The Oklahoma rose was chosen as the official state flower in 2004. In the language of flowers, the rose is the iconic symbol of love and passion.

Oregon - Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium)

The Oregon legislature officially designated the Oregon grape as the state flower in 1899. It produces holly-like leaves and captivating yellow flowers that represent happiness in flower meanings.

Pennsylvania - Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

The mountain laurel is Pennsylvania's official state flower, officially designated in 1933 by Governor Gifford Pinchot. It symbolizes perseverance.

Rhode Island - Violet (Viola spp.)

Rhode Island's schoolchildren were the first to vote for the violet as its state flower in 1897. However, it wasn't officially adopted until much later, in 1968. The violet's enduring fragrance throughout its bloom signifies unwavering faithfulness and loyalty. 

South Carolina - Yellow Jessamine ( Gelsemium sempervirens)

The yellow jessamine was chosen as South Carolina's official state flower in 1924 by the South Carolina General Assembly. The legislature noted that its delicate flower suggests "the purity 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."

South Dakota - Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla hirsutissima)

The pasque flower was designated as South Dakota's official floral emblem in 1903, making it unique with a motto attached: "I lead." One of the first wildflowers to bloom in South Dakota after winter, symbolizing hope, renewal, and spring.

Tennesse - Iris (Iris spp.)

Tennesse's official state flower is the iris. It symbolizes faith, wisdom, and valor.

Texas - Bluebonnet (Lupinus spp.)

In 1971, all varieties of bluebonnets were declared Texas' official state flower. Its vibrant blue color stands out against the landscape, making it a fitting symbol for the "lone star" spirit of Texas. 

Utah - Sego Lily (Calochortus nuttallii)

In recognition of its historical significance, the sego lily was overwhelmingly chosen as Utah's state flower in 1911. The sego lily's ability to thrive in harsh conditions and its historical role in sustaining the pioneers make it a powerful symbol of strength, resilience, and beautiful pioneer spirit.

Vermont - Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Vermont's state flower is the red clover. The triple-leaf clover is believed to ward off evil spirits and negative vibes.

Virginia - American Dogwood (Cornus florida)

The American dogwood is Virginia's official state flower. In flower meaning, its white blooms represent purity and resurrection.

Washington - Coast Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)

The Coast Rhododendron is Washington's official state flower, declared in 1959. it was actually selected as the state flower in 1892 by the women of Washington for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago

West Virginia - Great Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)

The Great Rhododendron was declared West Virginia's state flower in 1903. The name "rhododendron" translates to "rose tree." Exercise caution when you spot rhododendron, as it is known to be a severely toxic plant to animals and humans.

Wisconsin - Wood Violet (Viola papilionacea)

The wood violet is Wisconsin's state flower, made official on Arbor Day 1909. It symbolizes new beginnings, hope, and the promise of a fresh season.

Wyoming - Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja linariaefolia)

The Indian paintbrush is Wyoming's official state flower. It was chosen to represent the state in 1917. Its fiery red, orange, and pink hues symbolize passionate love, transformation, and spiritual connection.

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