April to May
The Apple Blossom faced some opposition in its selection as the state flower due to its biblical role in Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
Apples and crabapples are members of the rose family.
The Apple Blossom was chosen as the state flower of Arkansas during a time when the state was one of the largest apple producers in the U.S. For more than a quarter century after the designation as the Arkansas state flower, the flowering Apple Blossom dominated the state’s landscape and agriculture.
The industry brought the state so much notoriety that the small, northwestern town of Rogers organized an Apple Blossom Festival to promote the region. The celebratory event includes colorful floats, the coronation of an Apple Queen, and draws thousands of visitors from across the country. A newspaper in nearby Fort Smith boldly predicted that Arkansas would soon be competing with California and Florida as a “playground for the nation.”
But such aspirations would never materialize. In 1927, the state’s top crop were damaged by disease and severe frost. Apple production plummeted, and Arkansas’ days as a top apple-producing state were finished.
Even though apples no longer dominate the state’s agriculture today, the state flower continues to have a presence when the flowers bloom each April and May. The Arkansas state flowers are clusters of pink or white petals. These delicate blooms give off a honeysuckle scent that attracts bees to the trees where they carry out the important work of pollinating them.
Once Apple Blossom flowers bloom and are pollinated, they develop into fruit and grow to their mature yet small size by late summer. While apples from many trees can be eaten, the fruit that grows after the Arkansas state flower has fallen is largely ornamental. It is sometimes used to make jams and jellies.
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