It’s probably not a surprise that the rose is the national flower of the United States. What might surprise you is roses have been around for about 35 million years! They grow naturally, and even wild) all around North America. This symbol of love and beauty has played a significant role in mythology, history, and poetry since ancient times. It inspired the greatest minds for centuries and still fascinates in the modern day.
Though beloved in many countries around the world, the rose is considered the national flower of the United States. Ronald Reagan believed the rose was a true reflection of national spirit. He proclaimed it the USA’s national flower in 1986. Reagan also signed a petition sharing his opinion on the queen of flowers. “Just as the nation stands as a beacon of hope, so does the wonderful magical rose. Hope for a sweetheart who embraces a bouquet and the promise it brings. Hope for the aged as they receive roses from a stranger and hope for an aspiring gardener who enjoys the flush of a spring bloom.” Of course, the USA’s 40th President isn’t alone in his admiration for the rose’s regal beauty. Some of the US states share that special feeling towards roses and recognize it as their state flower. Let’s take a closer look.
Cherokee Rose: Georgia State Flower
In 2016, Georgia’s State Flower celebrated its 100th anniversary. On August 18, 1916, Georgians chose the Cherokee rose to represent their state. Tough and beautiful, this hardy plant is covered in thorns that are juxtaposed with delicate white petals. Its bloom boasts a golden center. Their choice was not a coincidence. As one might expect, the Cherokee rose is named for the Native American Cherokee tribe. They had a special love for the flower and distributed it throughout the indigenous territory.
Legend of the Cherokee Rose
According to Cherokee legend, these roses grew where Cherokee mother’s tears fell along the deadly journey known as the Trail of Tears in 1838. During that time, colonists forced Native Americans to leave their homelands. They had to walk thousands of miles to a specially designated area across the Mississippi River. The mothers were in such grief that they couldn’t help their children survive the journey. But when the elders started praying for them, all mothers’ tears turned into beautiful snow white roses with seven leaves on each stem representing seven Cherokee clans. The flowers grow throughout the Trail of Tears all the way into eastern Oklahoma.
Wild Rose: Iowa State Flower
Iowa is one of the few states that chose not to single out a certain species of the rose as their state flower. It designated any kind of wild prairie rose on the territory of the state as their emblem in 1897. This hardy flower blooms every year, despite the state’s hot, dry climate. Its legislators believed its resilience and beauty made it the perfect symbol for Iowa.
But long before Iowans came to appreciate the beauty of the Wild Rose, Native Americans had been using it for centuries for its medicinal and nutritional properties. They boiled rose hips to make eye drops for eye infections, cooked syrup to treat stomach problems and ate all the plant parts with meals.
Many people around the world still appreciate rose hips’ amazing properties. It’s especially popular in Eastern Europe and countries sharing Austro-Hungarian history. People there use rose hip tea to support the immune system, heart health, aid digestion and improve and prevent rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. It’s not only rich in vitamin C (just three rose hips contain as much Vitamin C as a single orange!), but also in vitamin A that’s great for moisturizing and regenerating your skin when applied in the form of oil.
Wild Rose: North Dakota State Flower
Another state that designated the wild prairie rose as the official state flower in 1907 is North Dakota. Found growing everywhere wildly in nature, a typical North Dakota wild prairie rose has five showy pink petals with a tight cluster of shine yellow stamens in the center. Because the Wild Prairie Rose can be found here in such abundance, locals would often pick bouquets of roses growing on roadsides not only for their dazzling beauty but also for a wonderful scent that lasts for days.
The Wild Prairie Rose is one of the favorite choices for gardeners. It’s cultivated for decoration, often used in food (including additives and animal food), medicine, etc. The essence of Wild Prairie Rose is also used to relieve stress and emotional energetic knots during mindfulness practices.
Oklahoma Rose: Oklahoma State Flower
One of the latest states to formally acknowledge the rose as their state flower is Oklahoma. Even though it took them much longer to officially accept the excellence of the queen of the flowers, they did it in all fronts, literally. In 2004, the Oklahoma rose became the official state flower, as well as the state wildflower. In addition, Oklahomans designated a rare rose rock (that looks exactly like a rose) as their official state rock.
The Oklahoma rose is a hybrid tea rose that’s been cultivated since 1964. Its deep red color is sometimes considered to represent the blood shed during the forced relocation of five Native American tribes to Oklahoma in the early 1800’s. But more often it’s called the blush tea-scented rose, and is especially popular for its strong and long-lasting aroma. Luxurious double blooms with many layers of petals often come in very rich dark color and look amazing in all types of flower arrangements, from cheerful birthday to stylish bridal bouquets.
Rose: New York State Flower
The rose was officially designated New York’s state flower in 1955, but was its informal emblem as early as 1891. First, the rose worked its way to the hearts of New York school children who voted for it (among two other flowers) to represent the state. During the second poll next year, most of the kids favored the rose again. Now, the state of New York considers any rose its state flower.
So versatile and beautiful, the rose is widely recognized for its good looks and numerous benefits. A worldwide favorite, the national flower of the United States is perfect for many occasions from birthdays to weddings.
Do you like roses as much as we do?
– Treat yourself or your special someone to a stunning bouquet of roses to USA.
– Keep on reading to Find Her Favorite In a World of Hybrid Roses
– Share by choosing your favorite buttons below.