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What Is the State Flower Of New York? Facts & FAQ

three pink roses

All US states have a state flower, from Georgia’s Cherokee Rose to New York’s rose. What’s most curious about these state flowers is that almost nobody knows exactly why they’re chosen. Is it a popularity contest? Native flowers? Something else? Let’s find out why New York chose the rose as their state flower.

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What Type of Rose Is the State Flower of New York?

New York recognizes all species of rose as the state flower, and, in fact, the wide variety within the genus is part of the reason it was chosen as the state flower. But that’s not all! The rose is also the official national flower of the US. In most depictions of the New York state flower, the tea rose is used, but any rose qualifies.

a beautiful red rose
Image Credit: HelgaKa, Pixabay

Why Did New York Choose the Rose?

There are numerous reasons. Some people believe the rose’s perennial nature is a testament to New Yorkers’ resilience, while others believe the flower’s timeless beauty is a parallel to the Big Apple. Roses are instantly recognizable, just like New York, and are symbols of beauty, love, and commitment.

Roses are healthy, too, with a shocking amount of vitamin C and antioxidants. Critics of this choice point out that the rose’s prickly thorns could be misconstrued, but they have little say in the matter. Roses can be found growing on vines and shrubs throughout New York, and even NYC has a few you can find while walking around: hybrid tea roses, miniature roses, old roses, ramblers, climbers, and shrubs.

Who Chose the New York State Flower?

New York held a public vote in the 1800s to gauge the public’s opinion on the decision, but the results weren’t ever released, and no flower was chosen for many decades. In 1955, the New York state legislature held a lengthy deliberation to choose the state’s flower. Allegedly, the legislature wanted to choose the “most suitable and longest lasting” candidate.

On April 20th, the legislature officially adopted the rose as “the official flower of the state in any color or combination of colors common to it.”

pink miniature roses
Image Credit: RococoNeko, Pixabay

Why Do States Choose State Flowers?

State flowers are important because they not only grow in their states, but they’re indicative of the state’s culture and history. Just as New York is perhaps the most iconic US state, the rose is the most iconic flower in the world. States choose whatever flower they feel is most representative of the state’s landscape, but also to serve as a symbol of the state.

With 50 very distinct states across the US, states use symbols like flowers, trees, and animals to proudly display pride in their way of life, environment, and heritage. In many states, schoolchildren were asked to vote on the state flower, though the state legislatures were free to make another choice if they wished.

garden flower divider


State flowers are a way for states to distinguish their unique cultures, landscapes, and history. New York chose all types of roses for its state flower, which is an apt choice. Just like the Big Apple, roses are instantly recognizable and will never fade in popularity.

Featured Image Credit: cocoparisienne, Pixabay


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