August to September
When deliberating on which flower should represent Kentucky, the War Department argued for the official designation of the trumpet vine because of its association with the state militia.
More than 30 species of goldenrod are native to Kentucky.
When most people think of Kentucky’s flora, Kentucky Bluegrass often springs to mind. In fact, Bluegrass is so entwined with the state’s identity that it was once selected as the Kentucky state flower despite the fact that it is actually a grass.
Today, the Kentucky state flower is the Goldenrod. Lawmakers chose the leggy yellow plant to replace Bluegrass in 1926 after gardening clubs complained that Bluegrass represented only one region of the geographically diverse state. Apparently they were less bothered about its status as a grass!
The tall and spindly plant thrives in many conditions and soil types. Kentucky’s state flower has green foliage and prominent yellow flowers that blossom most actively in the summer time. Yellow fields of Goldenrod appear across Kentucky the flowers bloom in late summer and early fall.
While many species of the plant are celebrated, state lawmakers singled out the Solidago Gigantea species as the Kentucky state flower. The species grows to up to eight feet tall, twice the height of other Goldenrods!
Goldenrods earned their name from their inflorescence, or upper stem, along which bright, small flowers grow in clusters. The flower’s rays attract butterflies and bees, which pollinate the plant and feed on its nectar.
Residents of the Bluegrass state have a long history of appreciating the Kentucky state flower. The flower appears on the state flag encircling the Kentucky state seal. Well before that, Native Americans valued the plant as a medicinal herb. Teas prepared from parts of the Goldenrod were used to reduce fevers, as well as treat bladder and kidney problems, among other things.
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