The official state flower of Kentucky is the goldenrod. The goldenrod symbolizes encouragement and precaution. A Senate resolution adopted the goldenrod as the Kentucky state flower on May 16, 1926. There are more than 30 varieties of the goldenrod, but the state does not specify a particular variety as the official flower. The goldenrod is also the state flower of Nebraska, the state wildflower of South Carolina, and the official state herb of Delaware.
History of the State Flower
The trumpet vine was the unofficial state flower of Kentucky. It was assigned by the Department of War as the symbol for the Kentucky Active Militia. In 1921, the Kentucky Women Club began promoting the goldenrod as the appropriate floral emblem. The club argued that the goldenrod grew throughout the state and was even represented in the state flag. The Department of War argued that the trumpet vine deserved the official status because it symbolized the state militia and the goldenrod was already assigned to California. The argument did not convince the Kentucky General Assembly, and on May 16, 1926, the goldenrod was officially adopted as the state flower.
Characteristics of the Goldenrod
The goldenrods are autumn flowers that grow in the meadows, woods, rocky ground, and hills of the United States. There are five types and more than 30 varieties of the goldenrods They include; club-shaped golden road, plume-shaped, wand-like, elm-shaped, and flat-topped. The most common goldenrod in Kentucky is the tall goldenrod which is a variety of the plume-shaped goldenrod. The flower is between 1 and 8 inches tall. The goldenrod blooms between July and October, each bloom consists of clusters of numerous small flower heads at the top of the stem. Some varieties are fragrant while others are not. The leaves of some varieties of the goldenrod are used to make herbal tea.
Goldenrod in Kentucky
The flower is occasionally blamed for the persistent allergies in Kentucky, but research has proven that it is not the cause, but, instead, the allergies experienced by Kentuckians are caused by the ragweed that blooms at the same time as the goldenrod. The blooms of the goldenrod lineup the roads of Kentucky's countryside in the fall, turning the highways serene and spectacular.
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