Tuesday, January 14, 2014

State Flower Names

California State Flower - The Golden Poppy - D2X-3-31-11_4255
Image by Cap001-Dan via Flickr

As I was on a road trip this past weekend, I read my daughter's book on the different states in the USA. In each state's description, it listed a lot of interesting factoids, including the state flower. So many of them jumped out as names! Yes, we already know of the many flower names, but if a place name doesn't fit your style, what if you can honor a state that means something to you by using its' state flower?

Unfortunately, not every state has a wearable flower name, but I will list them all anyway as well as any other information that could help you in honoring that special place...

Alabama - Camellia. How pretty! And how cute are the nicknames Cami, Melly, or Lia!

Alaska - Forget-me-not. Not a usable name, but the state bird is the Willow Ptarmigan so you could always go with Willow!

Arizona - Saguaro Cactus Blossom. Blossom is always cute and will be an option for many of the states. If that doesn't float your boat, you could always honor the state with Wren as the state bird is the Cactus Wren.

Arkansas - Apple Blossom. Gwyneth Paltrow made sure that Apple is as wearable as Blossom.

California - Golden Poppy. Poppy is a perfectly clever way to honor the Golden State. And Golden could be another option, with Goldie as a nickname.

Colorado - Columbine. Not a very usable name, but again the state bird gives a wonderful alternative in Lark (Lark Bunting).

Connecticut - Mountain Laurel. Laurel is beautiful, and the state bird also offers American Robin.

Delaware - Peach Blossom. If you don't care for Peach or Blossom, the state tree is American Holly.

Florida - Orange Blossom. Another Blossom, or you could be really fun and go with the state tree (Sable Palm) or the nickname (Sunshine State).

Georgia - Cherokee Rose. Rose is always a good choice. And the Peach State is also quite representative.

Hawaii - Hibiscus. A rare flower name, but a pretty one.

Idaho - Syringa. Possibly usable, with the nickname of Syri.

Illinois - Purple Violet. Violet is a name on the rise.

Indiana - Peony. What a pretty and unique choice!

Iowa - Wild Rose. Like Blossom and Violet, Rose can honor more than one state. More uniquely Iowa however, is the nickname Hawkeye State.

Kansas - Native Sunflower. Very doable, and a cute nickname in Sunny.

Kentucky - Golden Rod. Probably not usable in its full form, but maybe shortened to Golden or Goldie.

Louisiana - Magnolia. Oh, how pretty is a Magnolia!

Maine - White Pine Cone and Tassel. That's a mouth full, and not very usable.

Maryland - Black-Eyed Susan. Susan would be a surprising choice for someone wanting to honor the home of the Baltimore Orioles. ;)

Massachusetts - Mayflower. What a terrific option, with the cute May as a nickname! Massachusetts is also called the Bay State, offering another wonderful choice.

Michigan - Apple Blossom. Another state that also gives you the state bird of Robin as an alternative, or you could honor the Great Lake State by using Lake.

Minnesota - Pink and White Lady's Slipper. Another mouth full, but could be usable shortened to Lady.

Mississippi - Magnolia. Another solid choice and also the nickname of the state.

Missouri - Hawthorn. Ooooh... I'm loving this.

Montana - Bitter Root. Not very usable, but you could go with the state bird: Western Meadowlark. Both Meadow and Lark are extremely usable.

Nebraska - Goldenrod. Same as Montana... go with the state bird: Western Meadowlark.

Nevada - Sage Brush. Shortened to Sage, this is a winner.

New Hampshire - Purple Lilac. Lilac is a rarely used but beautiful name!

New Jersey - Purple Violet. Another repeat offender, but a good one.

New Mexico - Yucca. I'm afraid New Mexico gives no real usable options.

New York - Rose. Rose is always good, but you could also go with the state tree of Sugar Maple.

North Carolina - Dogwood. Unless you want to use the nickname Woody, I don't see a good option for North Carolina.

North Dakota - Wild Prairie Rose. Western Meadowlark is also this state's bird to give you more choices.

Ohio - Scarlet Carnation. The color of the flower could be used, or you could use the state tree and nickname: Buckeye.

Oklahoma - Mistletoe. I am one who thinks Mistletoe is a very usable name, with Misty is an even more wearable nickname.

Oregon - Oregon Grape. Grape as a given name hasn't caught on like Apple, but both the state bird (Western Meadlowlark) and state tree (Douglas Fir) give you more opportunities to honor the Beaver State.

Pennsylvania - Mountain Laurel. As already mentioned, Laurel is a wonderful offering.

Rhode Island - Violet. If Violet is too popular for you, the state tree gives the more unique Red Maple as an alternative.

South Carolina - Yellow Jessamine. How pretty is Jessamine! The state bird is the Carolina Wren, if you want to go a different route.

South Dakota - American Pasque Flower. Unless you find Rushmore a viable option, I do not see a usable name from the Mount Rushmore State.

Tennessee - Iris. Unique among the states is the beautiful Iris. There is also the state tree to consider: Tulip Poplar.

Texas - Bluebonnet. I think there has to be one or two Bluebonnets running around out there, and Bonnie is an adorable nickname for the moniker.

Utah - Sego Lily. Surprisingly the only Lily on the list.

Vermont - Red Clover. I adore Clover. And Sugar Maple is also an option as it is the state tree.

Virginia - Dogwood. Sadly, the Old Dominion State doesn't have much to offer in the way of non-place name wonderfulness.

Washington - Western Rhododendron. Rhododendron is a huge name to carry, but maybe the state bird of Willow Goldfinch can help you honor the Evergreen State.

West Virginia - Rhododendron. Another big one with the alternative of the Sugar Maple as the state tree available.

Wisconsin - Wood Violet. Several choices with Violet, the Robin as the state bird and the Sugar Maple as the state tree.

Wyoming - Indian Paintbrush. Another state that offers Meadowlark as the state bird.

Would you consider honoring a state that is special to you by using a name from the state's flower, bird, tree or nickname?



  1. Oh what a lovely selection of names! Admiring Mayflower, Camellia, Blossom, Meadowlark, Clover, Jessamine and Hawthorn.

    Yucca is just terrible, oh my, poor New Mexico. A type of yucca is the Joshua tree though ... Joshua might be better?

    The common name for Syringa is Lilac - that might seem a bit more usable! Syringa is just horrible.

  2. I would totally consider doing this! I'm from MA, so my pick would have to be Mayflower. I think I'd make it a middle, though.

    Alaska's forget-me-not reminds me of Miosotis, which I've seen as a name a handful of times. It's the Spanish/Portuguese form of Myosotis, the genus of the forget-me-not. That might be a way to make forget-me-not usable, at least for some folks.


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