Tuesday, April 1, 2008

State flower

Becky at Dragonfly Corner posted about the Illinois state flower a few days ago following up on an idea for a state flower meme from Larry at Growing Up. More than 25 years ago, I made a state flower embroidery sampler for my grandmother and can still remember how fun it was to learn all of the state flowers.

Maine's has an unusual state flower--the pine cone and tassel (pictured here with our state bird). In 1895, the legislature designated the cone of the white pine as our state flower. The image of a pine cone that we usually imagine is the female pine cone-- it's the one that birds value for the seeds and insect larvae. The cones differ between species allowing tree identification by cone. The male pine cones don't have much variation among the species and don't usually make their way into craft projects but they serve an important function by releasing pollen.

It's nice that Maine has a state flower that we can enjoy during our bleakest weather even though, strictly speaking, the pine cone isn't a flower but a strobilus.

It was interesting to discover that in addition to the traditional state emblems like bird, flower, and tree, Maine also has a state soft drink, a state schooner, a state soil and a state cat.

10 comments:

KEANAN BRAND said...

State soft drink? Cool!

Even with all the moving my family did when I was a kid, I've still lived most of my life in two states: Oregon and Arkansas. I don't remember much about the "state stuff", to be quite honest, but the Arkansas state flower is the apple blossom, and the Oregon one is the Oregon grape. (How's that for stating the obvious?) I like 'em both.

SJ said...

Well let's be honest, what other soda would we have as our state soda if it wasn't Moxie?! Oh, and you forgot my favorite state emblem, the state fossil!

The Texican said...

It makes perfect sense when you think about the amount of time folks from Maine have to sit around inside and think up things. Those long winters require longer lists than are available in most states. I've heard of Moxie, but I've never heard of anyone that liked it.:) hee hee

Beth said...

OK, SJ, River Valley Blogger writing prompt. My favorite state emblem is........because..........

Texican, There are people who pretend to like Moxie, almost always people with a Y chromosone. I think it tastes likes ashes mixed with kerosene.

Keanan, I like the Oregon grape, I thought it was pretty when I was embroidering it and the apple blossom is about as pretty as can be.

rach :) said...

Cheer Chick is happy to report knowing all of the State of Maine things, thanks to second grade... and she is especially careful to say "pine cone with tassel" every time.

I don't know my favorite, but I know my family gets very annoyed by having a boiled lobster on our license plate!

beckie said...

Beth, my mother did an embroidery almost exactly like yours! I don't have it, but do have some of her other works. I hadn't thought about it in years, but seeing yours brought back such pleasant memories of it and her. Thanks.

I like your state 'flower'!

Beth said...

Rach-I agree about the license plate, I like the chickadee ones.

Beckie--that's so interesting about your mom doing a similar embroidery, I've always wanted to find a kit that was the same pattern but state birds instead of flowers, I have whiled away many hours googling trying to find something like that.

Larry said...

Cool photo-I'm not going to be very far fronm that river when I go on a trip to Pittsburg New Hampshire in June.-I'll be catching fish though not rock climbing.

Larry said...

sorry-I posted my comment under the wrong post!

Tom said...

Ahh- Moxie! I've tried it- Once. Can't say that I'm a fan though. What is in that stuff?

Tom