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.