The official state flower of Alaska is the wild native alpine forget-me-not. It was adopted in 1917 and belongs to the species Myosotis alpestris that is part of a few plant families with true blue flowers. The flower grows throughout the state of Alaska, especially in rocky regions of the mountains. It is unclear why the pioneers of the state chose the forget-me-not as the state flower, but given its distribution in the state, it was a natural fit. The poem “Forget me not” by Esther Birdsall Darling states that the flower is one thing that is cherished in the state, and by choosing it, the people of Alaska are ensuring that the state is forever remembered.
Characteristics Of The Flower
The forget-me-not is quickly identified because of its sky blue color, and the five blue petals appear vividly against the green grass. The stem is between 6 to 12 inches long and contains several flowers. The flower is about half an inch wide with a yellow center. Fine hair-like fibers cover both the flower and the stem.
Symbolic Meaning Of The Forget-me-Not
The forget-me-not flower is a plant that is spoken of in Alaska when people are talking about faithfulness. In the past, women would wear the flowers as a sign of devotion to their lovers and that they are always thinking of their husbands when they are not around. Others use the flower as a symbol of remembrance of a loved one in the event of death although this tradition has faded over time. The abundance of the forget-me-not in Alaska is an experience that one will not easily forget and therefore represents the wild nature and beauty of the state. A legend in Germany states that a lord and his lady were walking along a river bank. The lord was about to give the flowers to the lady when he fell into the river, he tossed the flowers to his lady and shouted “Forget me not!" in German. He was dragged by the river never to be seen again, and the flowers were the only thing that reminded the woman of the lord.
Care And Cultivation
The alpine forget-me-not grows in wet areas because they thrive in damp soil. They are found in rocky environments, wooded areas and under bushes. They reach maturity in late spring and early summer, but bloom from spring to fall