What Is the State Flower of New Jersey? How Was It Decided?
Did you know that every state has an official state flower? The Viola sororia is the official state flower of New Jersey, and there are plenty of other fun facts to learn about it!
What Is the State Flower of New Jersey?
The state flower of New Jersey is the Viola sororia, also known as the common meadow violet. The plants itself is between 6 and 10 inches tall and has purple flowers.
Unlike many flowers that keep their petals as high up as possible, the Viola sororia’s petals droop toward the ground. It’s a beautiful flower, but it doesn’t stand out as much as some other violet varieties.
How Did New Jersey Pick Its State Flower?
While the common meadow violet didn’t officially gain permanent recognition in New Jersey until 1971, it was part of a resolution for the state in 1913. However, the resolution lost its power when the next legislative session began, leaving New Jersey without a state flower.
New Jersey had several gardening clubs, and they pushed New Jersey to officially recognize the common meadow violet as the state flower in the ‘70s.
New Jersey highlighted this flower due to its natural beauty and abundance throughout the state.
What Other States Have the Violet as a State Flower?
New Jersey is one of four states that has a violet as its state flower. The other three states are Illinois, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island all have the Viola sororia, while Wisconsin has the Viola papilionacea.
What’s the Difference Between a Viola Papilonacea and a Viola Sororia?
It all comes down to the family of plants. The Viola family includes all violets, which encompasses more than 500 different plant species. The Viola sororia is just one of those species.
So, while Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island highlight the Viola sororia, also known as the common meadow violet, Wisconsin highlights the Viola papilionacea, or the wood violet.
While the Viola sororia is a flower that you can find all over the eastern side of the United States and Canada, there’s no denying that it’s especially abundant in New Jersey.
So, the next time you see a common meadow violet growing, think about New Jersey and how it’s their state flower.
See also: 8 Wild Flowers That Grow in New Jersey (Identification Guide With Pictures)
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay