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Iowa History Daily: May 6 - The Wild Rose

Iowa History Daily: On May 6, 1897, the Iowa General Assembly designated the “wild rose” as the state flower of Iowa. An enduring, if unspecific, symbol representing Iowa’s natural beauty, the wild rose continues to bloom throughout the state today.

From the earliest American records available, Iowans admired the wild rose growing throughout the state. In 1896, as the original USS Iowa battleship (a pre-dreadnought BB-4 not to be confused with the more famous BB-61 USS Iowa) came into service the Iowa legislature presented the Navy with a silver tea set featuring a wild rose design.

During the following year, the State Federation of Women’s Clubs met in Dubuque and provided a formal recommendation that the state adopt the ‘wild rose’ as the state flower. Although the Iowa General Assembly took the club’s advice, the governing body did not specify which of the three ‘wild’ roses native to Iowa would actually serve as the state flower.

Rosa blanda, Rosa arkansana, and Rosa carolina all grow throughout the state. The various flowers typically bloom in varying shades of pink starting each June. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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