Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!
Find Your Local Florist:
Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!

The Offbeat Reason West Virginia Florists Love Rhododendron (The State Flower)

Almost unfortunately, I can’t stop humming the theme from Bob Hope and Bing Crosby’s “The Road To Morocco” now that I found out that the rhododendron is the official state flower of West Virginia. I know that seems a bit sequitur but I never claimed that my thoughts bounced around my brain in normal fashion.

Photo courtesy of 50states.com

Photo courtesy of 50states.com

Musical classics aside, the rhododendron is a cool choice for West Virginians. It’s a very woody flowering plant which means that florists cannot use it in their cut arrangements. However, it’s very close to the azalea (a rhododendron hybrid) which is another flowering plant that IS sold in West Virginia flower shops.

I have to say “kudos” to West Virginia legislators for choosing a flower that is beautiful, classic, and offbeat (not unlke myself). I say “offbeat” because rhododendron isn’t what we would expect to see in arrangements coming out of a flower shop. You’re much more likely to see them as blooming plants though they are not forced (not caused to bloom) like azaleas which are rhododendron hybrids. Since it’s a little different and somewhat unique, I give two thumbs up to West Virginians for that choice.

It must just be the mood of the day because I’m also thinking of unique and somewhat cheesy card messages that could be used on an enclosure card if you send a blooming azalea plant to someone. They may not have a clue that azaleas are rhododendron hybrids or what the West Virginia state flower is. They will after reading the card! I mean, come on. You’d smile if you got a card that said “You’re on the rhod-odendron to success”. You may groan or sigh as well but it’s the thought that counts. By the by, I have a brother that would laugh for an hour over something that inane. To each their own.

If you’re thinking about sending flowers and want something really cool, consider asking your local florist about a rhododendron inspired arrangement. The flowers are beautiful and colorful. The plant is sturdy and woody which means it’s able to withstand a lot of resistance. Know a person like that? Plus, sending a blooming plant is a little off the norm so someone with a sideways sense of humor (like me) would love it. Take a peek at the rhododendron and talk with your florist about the great gift ideas that follow.

How Alabama Florists Benefit From Camellias, The State Flower

Camellia, The Alabama State Flower

Camellia, The Alabama State Flower

It’s common knowledge to Alabama school children that the state flower is the Camellia (Camellia japonica). It’s less known to Alabama florists and that’s just tragic. There is so much to be gained from camellias and the possibilities are almost endless!

Camellias (Camellia japonica) are beautiful flowers found in many gardens. The bloom itself can be a cut flower known far and wide for its full, mass flower appeal and unique variegations. Much like peonies and carnations, camellias are a great mass flower for florists as their unique shape is easily identifiable and classic. “Beautiful” goes without speaking.

Until I started researching some of the unique ways to use camellias, I had no idea that they were so versatile. One of my favorite techniques involves waxing them which provides a really cool finish and helps them keep longer. I even saw one waxed and spray painted gold. Now if you really want a fun corsage idea for prom, why not use camellias and those techniques? But I digress.

As the Alabama state flower, camellias come with a bit of power. They’re more meaningful and recognizable because they are a state symbol. Translation:  perfect gift.

They are easy to market because there is a lot to do with a state flower like the camellia. The symbolism of the flower makes its inclusion in arrangements more special. Plus it provides the opportunity for unique card messages. Then there’s always the opportunity to send camellia flower arrangements important holidays in Alabama. “Governor appreciation day” comes to mind but there are plenty of others. Florists are some of the best marketers around but having a flower with that much worth helps greatly.

How Oklahoma’s State Flower Guarantees The Holiday Spirit All Year

When you have a state flower like Mistletoe (Phoradendron serotinum), you’re not likely to skip over celebrating one of the most crucial holidays of the year. For florists Christmas is a major holiday that always seems to bring something new each season. This year let the inspiration for your latest holiday flower arrangements come from the Oklahoma state flower. Liven up your Christmas flowers using what Oklahoma florists have found unceasing inspiration in for years.

Mistletoe photo courtesy of 50states.com

Mistletoe photo courtesy of 50states.com

Mistletoe is a funny little flower though many wouldn’t consider it a flower. Mistletoe grows on trees during the fall and winter. You can see its dark green leaves and bright white berries during the seasons when other flowers are falling away and leaves are making their last attempt at beauty before dormancy.

Of course, there’s the Christmas party tradition surrounding mistletoe. If two people stand under the mistletoe together, they are supposed to kiss one another. It’s fun to see who happens to land under the mistletoe. Some jokers make mistletoe hats to make the best (and a small joke) of the tradition. Either way, it’s fun and mistletoe’s most notable inclusion in the holiday.

Why not change that up a bit this season? Christmas flower arrangements need foliage. Can there BE a more perfect one than mistletoe? Take a tip from Oklahoma florists. Mistletoe has been a symbol of the state since before Oklahoma was even a state! Flowers with that kind of lasting impression can only be great inspiration for florists.

As the holiday season fast approaches, remember mistletoe this year as you hum “Jingle Bells” and prep a Christmas-themed arrangement.

Know What North Dakota & Iowa Have In Common?

Photo courtesy of 50states.com

Photo courtesy of 50states.com

North Dakota and Iowa may not seem like very similar states but both chose the Wild Prairie Rose (Rosa pratincola,  a. Rosa arkansana) as their official state flower. Though no official species was chosen for the Iowa state flower, Rosa pratincola is most often cites as the official state flower of Iowa and who am I to argue?

If you remember reading about the North Dakota state flower, you’ll find this only equally enthusiastic because the wild prairie rose is a darn pretty flower! I grant you it’s a wildflower and not a cut flower that Iowa florists could use in an arrangement but it’s still a great source of inspiration. If I were to narrow it down to the three things I find most inspiring about the wild prairie rose, here you go. You’ve forced my hand. *grin*

  1. Color
  2. Shape
  3. Location

When you get right down to it, the color of the wild prairie rose is a beautiful, soft shade of pink offset by yellow stamens in the center. The gentle pink is a reminder of romantic occasions. When designing romantic flower arrangements, pink is often used to symbolize affection romance, gentle passion and kindhearted love. A pink wildflower that grows and blooms naturally is a wonderful reminder of how love can often be found in surprising places and blossom without fear.

This particular species of the Wild Prairie Rose is noted for having 4-5 petals laying flat but slightly overlapping one another. When I say that I like the shape, this is not what I’m talking about. Each of the petals are heart shaped with the point of the hearts meeting at the stamens. We already know that pink is symbolic for love. Now we see heart shaped flowers. See where this is heading?

Love is so incredible. It guides us, motivates us, encourages us, causes our biggest headaches and our largest victories. The most intense arrow in Cupid’s quiver often strikes at unexpected times and in strange places. I met my sweetheart while working at Wal-Mart. Some meet in church, a library, passing on the street, in the park, or by a chance encounter. This strange trend is why I like the location of the Wild Prairie Rose as it blooms throughout Iowa.

Iowa is known for corn. Miles and miles of corn. “Corn, corn, corn, oh look a tree!” as the song goes. To be gazing across the countryside and see a simple pink flower? Unexpected, unanticipated, a pretty break from the ordinary.

Take a walk on the wild side and chance finding inspiration in the unique, gentle flower that is Iowa’s official state flower–the Wild Prairie Rose.

Ode To The Sweet Little Apple Blossom (AR State Flower)

Oh the delight of the sweetly scented apple blossom. Not to be silly, but it’s a beautiful thing.

I began some research on the next state flower in our series but immediately stopped when my eyes came across the apple blossom. Ranging in color from supple pink to soft white, these blooms are typically enjoyed during the late winter and early spring. This is a fascinating time for Arkansans like myself (well, close enough). The sun is out, the early spring rain makes everything grow in bright green, and people seem to whistle for no reason. Mix that with a heapin’ helpin’ of southern hospitality, and you almost have the southern version of The Sound of Music. It’s a lovely time that, at least from my perspective, starts with the blooms of apple blossoms.

Photo Credit of 50states.com

Photo Credit of 50states.com

Malus species is the scientific name for this pretty flower. Whatever you want to call it, the thirty-third general assembly did a fantastic job in 1901 when they named the apple blossom as the state flower of Arkansas.

While I’m sure information about the flower is useful to an elementary student, you’re probably reading this blog to see how the apple blossom is useful to you. Good!

Unlike many state flowers, the apple blossom is a premium cut flower that you will see in high-end flower arrangements from a local florist. Seasonal availability ranges from February through April only. The floral designers at these flower shops can find the deepest inspiration in the uniqueness of these premium flowers.

Pink and white are very popular colors and commonly used during romantic or sweet holidays such as Mothers Day, Valentines Day, and Easter. Flower arrangements designed after gazing on the variegated apple blossom delight Arkansans to the core. It’s not just Arkansas florists that enjoy drawing inspiration from the Malus species. Whether enjoying the way that the simple colors blend together or taking note of how the flowers form a beautiful bouquet, there is something refreshing about the apple blossom and you’re sure to love it!

Wash Away The Gloomy Grays With The Texas Bluebonnet

There’s a yellow rose in Texas but it’s the Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) that won the title of the official state flower of Texas. The bluebonnet is also called buffalo clover, wolf flower, and el conejo. Regardless of its name, the bluebonnet provides a beautiful addition to the countryside in Texas. From Galveston to San Angelo, Texas florists find inspiration in the vivid colors of the state and its larger than life traditions. The bluebonnet flower is just one more thread in the rich tapestry of nature’s inspirational wonders found in Texas.

One of the few blue flowers found in nature, the blue bonnet stands proudly as one of the more beautiful blue flowers. Arrangements of delphinium are excellent gift ideas for those who love blue. Turn your sweetheart’s cheeks red and turn her friends green with envy when you send a beautiful arrangement of flowers from your local florist inspired by the wild spirit and brilliant blue of the bluebonnet.

Wild About Wyoming’s State Flower

Welcome to Wyoming! How can you not feel warm and fuzzy inside when even the official Wyoming State website declares “Wyoming Welcomes You” in flowing bold letters? There is so much to love about Wyoming but part of the beauty of the state is found in the natural wonder of rolling mountains, streaming rivers, and handsome natural attractions at every glance.

Remaining true to these natural roots, Wyoming adopted the Indian paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia) as the official state flower in 1917. The Indian paintbrush is a vibrant, gorgeous and colorful flower that shoots from the earth with fiery red determination which definitely explains why it’s often called Prairie-Fire. Indian paintbrush make quality additions to gardens, bold additions to home décor, and are sure to add a bold pop to a boring day.

Castilleja linariifolia may be difficult to say but you won’t have to worry about that when gazing at Indian paintbrush with your beloved because these brilliant wildflowers leave you speechless! For fiery personalities that love to stand out in the crowd, wow them by complimenting their flair for brilliance with an arrangement inspired by the bold colors of Indian paintbrush from a Wyoming florist or contact your local florist to create something that dazzles the eyes and warms the heart.

I was digging around to see if any of our florists in Torrington, Wyoming could help me gather Indian Paintbrush for my garden when I ran across this fantastic picture. Enjoy!

Wyoming Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia)Gorgeous natural Wyoming Indian Paintbrush

Photo provided by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of the University of Texas at Austin.