West Virginia State Flower
The rhododendron was designated the official West Virginia State Flower in 1903. The fragrant shrub received high praises from Governor George Atkinson who exclaimed “I know none more beautiful and none more common in West Virginia, than the Rhododendron.” An overwhelming majority of “Mountain State” school children agreed. When asked to vote for their favorite state floral emblem, the rhododendron won the day.
Rhododendron maximum is the tallest and hardiest of the evergreen rhododendrons. The spring-blooming perennial flourishes on ravines, hillsides, and under the canopy of hemlock and maple trees. It is known by many names including great laurel, great rhododendron, rosebay, and rosebay rhododendron.
Common Name: Rhododendron
Scientific Name: Rhododendron maximum
Year Adopted: 1903
Peak Bloom: July
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Rhododendron photograph by Lee Wright. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.
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