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Flowers & Floral Emblems
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Kentucky State Flower


Kentucky State Flower - Goldenrod

(Solidago spp.)

Adopted on May 16, 1926

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. Around 1921 when the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs began to promote goldenrod as an appropriate floral representative of the Bluegrass State. Unimpressed with the War Department, the Kentucky state flower, Goldenrod, (Solidago spp) was adopted on May 16, 1926 by Senate Resolution.

Three states have adopted goldenrod as state flowers: Kentucky, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

Kentucky State Flower: Goldenrod

Kentucky State Flower - Goldenrod

The Goldenrod is a beautiful and hearty plant is happy to move to a decorative place no other plants want to be. It is often blamed for allergies in Kentucky, but the Goldenrod is actually harmless. The allergic reactions Kentuckians experience are due to the Ragweed which blooms at the same time and grows in the same areas.

The golden plumes of this wildflower line Kentucky's roadsides in the fall. Native to all of Kentucky, 30 of nearly 100 species of this herb are found here.

The large number of species and variations make this genus very difficult resolve to the species. The Goldenrods as a group are well know and very common turning fallow fields and meadows yellow every fall. Goldenrods are mostly an American genus with the greatest number of species found in the Southeastern US

Characteristic of the Goldenrod

  • Plant Type: This is a Native herbaceous plant perennial forb. Ususlly erect and often tall.
  • Leaves: The leaves are alternate. Most leaves are toothed but a few species have entire leaves.
  • Flowers: Blooms July-October. The flowers have numerous parts. They are yellow sometimes white. Blooms first appear in mid summer and continue into mid fall. The center and rays are yellow. The rays are few, seldom more than ten. Groups of flowers are often clustered on the top edge of branches near or at the top of the plant.
  • Habitat: Various
  • Range: Most all of North America

Kentucky Law

The law designating the goldenrod as the official Kentucky state flower is found in the Kentucky Revised Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 2, Section 2.090.

SECTION 2.090.
2.090 State flower.

The goldenrod is the official state flower of Kentucky.

Effective: October 1, 1942
History: Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts chapter 208, sec. 1, effective October 1, 1942, from Ky. Stat. sec. 4618o.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Goldenrod

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
    Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae - Aster family
Genus: Solidago L. - goldenrod

State Flowers
State Floral Emblems
Flowers & Floral Emblems
Find images and a brief history of the flowers representing, usually by legislative action, the state symbols of each of the fifty states.
The term floral emblem, which refers to flowers specifically, is primarily used in Australia and Canada. In the United States, the term state flower is more often used.
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