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New York State Flower

Lalan Maliakal May 4, 2019
Ever wondered why one of the most popular and largest states of America, chose the rose as the state flower? Read further to know more about the history and other interesting facts about this beautiful flower.
Roses are wildly grown and cultivated all over New York. For decades, it has been a symbol of love, the joy of gifting, the expression of beauty, the aroma of royalty, the sign of softness, and the spell of fascination. Its beauty is appreciated throughout the world.
This pleasantly fragrant flower grows on shrubs and comes in different colors: red, white, yellow, or pink; each having its own charm and individuality. There are over 150 species and more than 20,000 hybrids to choose from. The number, variety, and color of the rose carry symbolic significance.

Choosing the State Flower

In 1890, when New York decided to choose its state flower, the school children were asked to vote. For some unknown reasons, the legislature did not announce the winner. In 1955, the results were announced, and rose was the second choice.
However, when the election was held again, it was declared winner by a heavy margin. It permanently found a place in the state law. A law that states,"The rose shall be the official flower of the state in any color or combination of colors common to it", appears in the New York Consolidated Laws, State Law, Article 6, Section 75, adopted on April 20, 1955.
After gaining an important position in the legislation, the rose continued to charm people with its wide variety in terms of its color, size, and fragrance. Let us dig deeper to find its origins.


Taxonomically, the rose belongs to:
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Subfamily: Rosoideae
  • Genus: Rosa


  • In Egypt, roses are considered to be sacred and are used as offerings for the goddess Isis.
  • In the 15th century, the English war of roses took place. The rose of England was declared the winner. The English were among the first to learn the science of cross breeding and hybridizing.
  • Though they are available in almost all colors, black roses don't exist.


They are broadly classified into 3 categories:
Species: They are simple five-petaled flowers, that bloom once in the growing season. They grow wild and do not possess the refined characteristics and charm that hybrid types flaunt. The wild species bloom in summer and stay till winter. A classic example is rosa rugosa.
Old Garden Roses: They possess delicate features and a wonderful perfume. They are usually colored pastel or white. Some examples of old garden roses are china roses, moss roses, and damask.
Modern Roses: Those which have been identified after 1867 are known as modern roses. A modern rose blooms after cross-pollination of polyanthus and a hybrid tea rose. Most popular examples are floribunda and grandiflora.
With its sheer beauty and fragrance, the rose has totally bewitched us. So, it comes as no surprise that it plays the role of New York state flower.