Maryland State Flower
Adoption of the Maryland State Flower
Inspiration provided by the 1893 World's Fair (World's Columbian Exposition) in Chicago may have been the motivating factor to a group of women at the Maryland Agricultural College in 1896. They thought that Maryland should have an official state flower and they thought it should be the black-eyed Susan. Though not native to the state of Maryland, it did grow throughout the state and presented beautiful waves of orange/yellow in fields from late summer to autumn. It also reflected the colors, black and gold, that the first Lord Baltimore used in his coat of arms.
There was plenty of opposition to the black-eyed Susan. It was denigrated as nothing more than a common weed and not even native to the state. An article in the Baltimore Sun criticized the choice, referring to it as a common vagabond, " Susan came to Maryland, not on the Ark or the Dove, but as a migrant from the Midwest mixed in clover and hayseed.”
Black-eyed Susan supporters prevailed however, and, by an act of the Maryland General Assembly, the Black-eyed Susan was adopted as the floral emblem of the state on April 18, 1918.
The Maryland Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Maryland Statutes, Title 13, Section 13-305.
TITLE 13. STATE GOVERNMENT.
The black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is the State flower.
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan): Plant Encyclopedia from MyGardenGuide.
Plant Profile for Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan): 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: Maryland General Assembly: Maryland Statutes, (http://mlis.state.md.us/), July 23, 2005
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