The Alaska State Flower
Forget Me Not
Every state has those certain items that represent their state. The state of Alaska has the state flower of what people commonly refer to as the Forget Me Not.
Its scientific name being Myosotis alpestris. There is a long history associated with just how this flower became the state flower of Alaska.
The flower first become adopted by those that went to the area during the times of the gold rush. These men got together with one another and gave themselves the name of the "Pioneers of Alaska". They adopted the Forget Me Not as their emblem.
Now as the population continued to grow, many women joined in and started their own groups, who also adopted the flower as their emblem. Over the years, people began to associate the Forget Me Not flower with Alaska which was exactly what they were wanting to do.
In 1917, the flower became the official Alaska state flower. In the margin of the of the bill that passed this, there is a little note that states basically how this flower has long been the one thing that Pioneers have seen when they are on the trails. Thus, it seemed fitting to make this the state flower.
Description and Characteristics
The reason that the pioneers chose the Forget Me Not is not clear. However, it seems that given how frequent it occurs in nature in Alaska, it was a natural fit for the state to choose.
A poem written by Esther Birdsdall Darling perhaps sums it up while these people chose the flower in stating that the flower is one thing that is remembered, and through choosing this as the flower of Alaska the people are ensuring that Alaska is forever remembered. The poem that Darling wrote is one that most Alaskans know and hold dear.
What better way for people to remember a state that most people automatically dismiss than to have a state flower that is called the Forget Me Not? The pioneers who first adopted this flower knew that they must chose something that stuck in the minds of those that came to the area and one that was going to catch people's attention.
Characteristics of the Forget Me Not
The characteristics of the Forget Me Not are those that are going to be easy to spot:
- Five blue petals, sky blue color that is very vivid against the green grass
- yellow center
- Only about half an inch wide
- Stems that are around six to twelve inches high that contain multiple flowers on the stem, each flower having a stem that sprouts off of the main stem
- The stem and the flower are covered in fine hair like fibers
Stories Associated with Forget Me Not
Though for Alaska, the Forget Me Not is talking about not forgetting their state. There has been stories throughout history that have spoken of the same thing. A legend states that in Germany a knight was walking with his lady along the river.
The knight was picking these flowers for the lady when he slipped and fell into the river, before the river dragged him under, he tossed the bouquet to her and shouted in German, "Forget me not!"
The meaning of the Forget Me Not flower is one that most people speak of when talking about being faithful. Those women in past times would wear these flowers as a way to show that they were faithful to their lovers and that their lover was always on their mind.
Other people use the flower as a remembrance of certain event of death of a loved one, though this is something that has faded with the new ways of thinking, but in parts of Newfoundland still is used.
The Alaska state flower of the Forget Me Not is one that is fitting to a state that wants people to remember it for its beauty and wild nature. And it is one of those flowers that most people easily recognize and can easily associate with Alaska.
Cultivation and Care
The Alaska state flower is one that is going to be found in the spring time. They are going to reach for maturity by the end of the spring and into the summer time. Blooming wise, the latter spring time is going to be when people see the blooms start to open.
The flower is going to be more wildly popular around those wet areas since they prefer damp soil to grow in. The flowers are also going to be found under bushes and in the wooded areas since they thrive in darker, damper areas when compared to most other types of flowers.
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