Oklahoma State Flower
Adoption of the Oklahoma State Flower
When it comes to state flora, one must be careful to differentiate in Oklahoma. The Sooner State is represented, in one way or another, by three official flowers:
Mistletoe was adopted as the official floral emblem in 1893, while Oklahoma was still a territory. It was adopted by the State of Oklahoma in 1910.
Oklahoma also adopted the official state wild flower, the Indian blanket, in 1986.
It wasn't until 2004 that the "Oklahoma rose" joined the list.
The Oklahoma rose is a hybrid tea rose [Rosa odorata (Andr.) Sweet] developed in 1964 by Herbert C. Swim and O.L. Weeks at Oklahoma State University.
Since its adoption, mistletoe has occupied a precarious position as the official floral emblem of Oklahoma. On the one hand, export of mistletoe for Christmas decorations serves the state economically and mistletoe maintains a certain historical significance. On the other hand, the parasitic nature of the plant along with its less-than-spectacular flowers are not endearing characteristics.
As a state flower goes, garden clubs in Oklahoma had never been excited by the state's official floral emblem, mistletoe. The Indian blanket, adopted in 1986, didn't offer much to gardeners either. A tea rose developed in the state and named for the state was another thing. Garden clubs across the state supported adoption of something more "cultivated" and they got it with the Oklahoma rose.
Senator Gilmer Capps of Oklahoma City, introduced Senate Bill No. 7, proposing the Oklahoma rose as the official flower of the State of Oklahoma, to the 1st Session of the 49th Legislature on February 3, 2003. His bill proposed amending Section 25-92 of the Oklahoma Statutes defining mistletoe as the floral emblem of Oklahoma, adds text that also names the Oklahoma rose as the official flower.
Though some legislators were concerned that the rose is not native to Oklahoma, this objection didn't seem to slow the movement toward approval. Garden clubs across the state were filing opinions in support of the Oklahoma Rose.
Meeting of the Government Operations Committee on March 24, 2004:
The following is the text of the approved Senate Bill No. 7. Changes made to Section 25-92 of the Oklahoma Statutes are underlined. Governor Brad Henry signed this legislation on April 13, 2004 making the Oklahoma rose the official flower of the State of Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 25, Section 25-92.
TITLE 25. Definitions and General Provisions.
R.L.1910, § 2952. Amended by Laws 2004, c. 89, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2004.
Plant Profile for Rosa odorata (Tea Rose): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Oklahoma Rose: Heirloom Roses, Inc., St. Paul, Oregon.
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: Oklahoma Statutes, (http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/osStatuesTitle.html), August 17, 2005
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