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Kentucky State Flower

Goldenrod Solidago Adopted:1926
Kentucky State Flower: Giant Goldenrod
Kentucky State Flower: Giant Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

Adoption of the Kentucky State Flower

Before goldenrod, there was bluegrass and, unofficially, the trumpet vine. In fact, the trumpet vine was assigned by the United States War Department as the official symbol for the Kentucky militia.

Things began to change around 1921 when the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs began to promote goldenrod as an appropriate floral representative of the Bluegrass State. It was argued that goldenrod grew all across the state and had even been adopted as an element of the Kentucky State Flag in 1918! The War Department argued for the official designation of the trumpet vine because of its association with the state militia and because they had already assigned goldenrod to California.

The people of Kentucky were not impressed with the arguments of the War Department and on March 16, 1926 a Senate Resolution naming goldenrod as the official state flower was adopted.

According to George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D.,

Shankle speculates that it the variety of goldenrod intended as the state flower was "probably Solidago patula" but the web site of Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives names Solidago gigantea as the state flower. The statute (KRS 2.090) does not indicate a particular variety of goldenrod. About 30 varieties of goldenrod grow in Kentucky.

Attempts were made to replace goldenrod a few years later, criticizing it as a common weed that grew in most of the states. Proponents of the restoration of the bluegrass flower as the state flower were successful in the Kentucky House but met defeat in the Senate

In the late 40s and early 50s the goldenrod's position as state flower was threatened by the dogwood blossom and the redbud. The redbud was approved in the House but defeated in the Senate in 1953.

Two other states have adopted goldenrod as state flowers:

The Kentucky Revised Statutes

The following information is excerpted from the Kentucky Revised Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 2.090.

Additional Information

Roundleaf Goldenrod
Kentucky State Flower: Roundleaf Goldenrod (Solidago patula)
Copyright © Smithsonian Institution

Plant Profile for Solidago patula (Roundleaf Goldenrod): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Plant Profile for Solidago gigantea (Giant Goldenrod): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Plant Profile for Solidago (Goldenrod): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

State Flower List: List of all of the state flowers.

State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.

State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book by Annika Bernhard - 51 accurately detailed, copyright-free renderings include national bird (eagle) and flower (rose) plus 50 state birds and flowers.

U. S. State Flowers in Cross Stitch by Gerda Bengtsson - Botanically correct cross stitch designs of state flowers of the 50 States.

Quilting Flowers of the States by Sue Harvey - A lovely 12-inch flower block for each of the 50 states. Techniques used are piecing, appliqué, paper-piecing and three-dimensional techniques.

Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.

Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.

State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002

State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)


Source: Kentucky Revised Statutes, (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statrev/frontpg.htm), July 16, 2005
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: Revised Edition (Reprint)- George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938

 
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