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What Is the State Flower of Nebraska?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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The state flower of Nebraska is the goldenrod. This flower blooms in clusters of bright, yellow petals that jut out from thick, green spike-like stalks. A variety of different species of goldenrod can be found growing naturally throughout the state. Most state floral emblems feature the giant goldenrod variety.

The Nebraska territory became a part of the United States in 1867. The population primarily consisted of farmers and cattle ranchers who were drawn to the state for its flat land and excellent grazing conditions. The state experienced a large population surge during the late 1880s, after which the state government chose to name certain defining elements of the land as representative of its growing people, hardy spirit, and enduring character.

The goldenrod became the state flower of Nebraska during the spring of 1895. It was so named by newly elected state Governor, Silas Holcomb. The goldenrod was chosen for its hardiness and for its abundance throughout the state. The Eastern Cottonwood soon became the state tree, and the Western Meadowlark was named as the state bird.

The state flower of Nebraska appears as a bunch of small, yellow flowers growing directly from a thick, green stalk. Each individual flower center is surrounded by a cluster of nine or more long, airy petals. Thin, pointed leaves gather at the base of the stalk, and become rounded as they approach the flowers. The plant typically reaches 2 feet (about 61 centimeters) in height in optimum growing conditions.

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The months of July through October mark the growing season for the state flower of Nebraska. It requires both nutrient rich soil and full sunlight to produce the showy buds which give it its name. The goldenrod is a perennial and procreates through the division of roots and by dropping new seeds. The flower is considered by some gardeners to be invasive, quickly overtaking any beds where it has been planted. This growing pattern can be contained by digging up existing flowers every two years and dividing the roots by hand to plant them in new locations.

The floral emblem for the state typically features the giant goldenrod variety, though many different species grow across the state. The different species of flower are often identified by the size and shape of the petals, and their growth pattern along the stem of the plant. The wreath goldenrod produces small bunches of tiny flowers that are spaced evenly apart across a branching stem. The rigid goldenrod groups its characteristic yellow blossoms around large, white centers that grow on flat branches which sprout from a center stalk.

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