Virginia State Plant :: History of Virginia

Virginia State Plant

February 20, 2018
Woodburn hall at West Virginia
Rhododendron maximum by SB Johnny

Fast realities

  • Adopted the West Virginia state flower in 1903
  • Botanical title: Rhododendron maximum
  • Typical names: Great Laurel, Great Rhododendron, Rosebay and Rosebay Rhododendron
  • Rhododendrons tend to be nicknamed “rhodies”
  • Rhododendron trivia: The name rhododendron suggests “rose tree”.

If state history can be a guide for what will be come, then your rhododendron ended up being a shoe-in for the condition flower of western Virginia. In 1901, files reveal the outgoing Governor George Atkinson praising the shrub’s attractive nature and ubiquitous presence: “I know none even more breathtaking and nothing more common in western Virginia, compared to Rhododendron. It is discovered along most every vale and hillside, and it is universally admired both because of its beauty and fragrance”. A couple many years after in 1903, lawmakers named the rhododendron West Virginia’s state rose after an overwhelming vote regarding the state’s youngsters with its benefit together with the governor’s recommendation.

Gov. Atkinson understood their flowery realities. Rhododendrons were, but still are, exceedingly typical in western Virginia as well as through the entire east US. The fragrant bushes, that are members of the heath family members, grow in almost every region associated with state aside from in its westernmost counties. Western Virginia’s condition rose flourishes on ravines, hillsides and under thick tree canopies of hemlock and maples. The perennials’ success is partially because of its capacity to flourish in a variety of problems.Rhododendron by Zeynel Cebeci Rhododendrons can tolerate both partial sunshine and heavy color (when you look at the Appalachian area, these are the principal understory plants on millions of miles).

Photo by Zeynel Cebeci

West Virginia’s state rose may also turn into quite broad and large. Although the typical height is around 15 feet, some plants achieve 40 feet (hence the “maximum” inside plant’s botanical title).

Yearly in July, rhododendrons bloom with pink or white-flower clusters. Each cluster includes to 25 plants and offers a nice-looking contrast into rhododendron’s dark evergreen vegetation.

Although western Virginia state flower is generally based in the crazy, it is also popular in gardening. When you look at the places and suburbs of Huntington and Charleston, rhododendrons are employed as a border plant or as hedges. Some gardeners in addition plant rhododendrons to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

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