Ohio State Flower
The red carnation was designated the Ohio State Flower in 1904. This selection was made in honor of William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States. President McKinley was just six months into his second term when a deranged anarchist approached him at a public event and shot him twice in the abdomen. Initially his attending physicians seemed optimistic about the President’s recovery. Unfortunately the wounds caused severe blood poisoning. Antibiotics to control bacterial infections did not yet exist. President McKinley succumbed to his injuries on September 14, 1901, eight days after the shooting.
William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio in 1843. He was the last president to have participated in the American Civil War, serving in the Union Army. After the war, William McKinley settled in Canton where he practiced law and started a family. He was elected the 39th Governor of Ohio in 1891, after completing several terms in Congress.
President McKinley was often seen sporting a scarlet carnation on the lapel of his jacket. In addition to bringing good luck, he believed the vibrant red flower represented love, respect, and reverence. Not surprisingly, the red carnation is the most popular flower sold in Ohio.
Scarlet Carnation Facts
Common Name: Scarlet Carnation
Scientific Name: Dianthus caryophyllus
Year Adopted: 1904
Peak Bloom: April to August
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Scarlet Carnation photograph by Pezibear
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