The deep red of the Oklahoma rose is said by some to represent blood shed during the forced relocation of five Native American tribes to Oklahoma in the 1800s.
Also known as the blush tea scented rose.
When it comes to floral symbols, just one flower is not enough for the people of Oklahoma! The Sooner state was already represented by two plants when lawmakers added a third because the others were considered not “cultivated” enough. One, the Indian Blanket, is a wildflower. The other, Mistletoe, is a parasite. So when more than 180 gardening clubs lobbied to add the Oklahoma Rose as a third, lawmakers acquiesced. It became the official Oklahoma state flower in 2004.
Today, the Oklahoma Rose is a darling of gardening clubs throughout the state from Tulsa to Lawton. In the crowded world of hybrid Roses and the like, the Oklahoma state flower stands out because of its fragrance and beauty. It produces an “old rose” scent that is described as “delightful,” “strong” and “sweet.” It also produces outstanding double blooms with up to 50 petals and a rich, velvety red color. At times, the flower’s petals seem almost black.
Despite the beauty of the Oklahoma state flower, the state’s other floral emblem deserves mention. The mistletoe is the oldest of the state’s symbols, having been chosen the floral emblem of the Oklahoma territory in 1893, 14 years before Oklahoma even became a state.
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