Maine State Flower
Adoption of the Maine State Floral Emblem
In 1893, the Women's Congress at the Chicago World's Fair came up with the idea of a "National Garland of Flowers" that would be comprised of individual state flowers or floral emblems selected by the individual state legislatures. The National Garland of Flowers was the inspiration for the selection of many state flowers and floral emblems including the floral emblem of Maine.
During the months of November and December 1894, the Maine Floral Emblem Society directed an effort to establish an official floral emblem for the State of Maine urging all citizens to be heard on the subject.
Ballots were published in Maine newspapers in order to gain a statewide consensus on a representative floral emblem or flower. Three candidates were offered; goldenrod; the apple blossom; and the pine cone and tassel. As a result of statewide voting, the pine cone and tassel of the white pine was chosen to represent Maine "in the National Garland of Flowers." By some accounts, the pine cone and tassel garnered almost 60% of the votes cast. This was not a surprising outcome in the Pine Tree State considering the role white pine played in Maine's history.
The pine cone and tassel was adopted as the official floral emblem of Maine by the sixty-seventh legislature on February 1, 1895.
Though not named in the act of the legislature, the pine cone and tassel intended by the legislation is that of the eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). On July 21, 1945, the white pine was named Maine's official tree.
Maine is the only state that has selected an official floral emblem that does not offer a flower.
The Maine Revised Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 9, Subchapter 1, Section 211.
Title 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS.
The floral emblem for the State, in the national garland of flowers, shall be the pine cone and tassel.
Pinus strobus: University of Connecticut Plant Database of Trees, Shrubs and Vines.
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.): Tree Identification Fact Sheet from the Virginia Tech.
Plant Profile for Pinus strobus L. (Eastern White Pine): 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: Maine Revised Statutes, (http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/), July 23, 2005
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