It’s spring time and after the April showers we welcome May’s fresh flowers and trees. To bring in the month of May we are sharing some interesting facts about our communities’ state flowers and trees!
Maryland’s State Flower – The Black-eyed Susan
The Black-eyed Susan became the official state flower in 1918. As a member of the Sunflower family, it can grow up to 2-3 feet high. The Black-eyed Susan is a wildflower, featuring yellow petals and a dark brown center. It blooms May – August and grows in dry places. It is common to roadsides and fields.
Interesting facts about the Black-eyed Susan
- This wildflower can be very territorial – meaning it likes to crush out other flowers next to them.
- The root of a Black-eyed Susan has been used in traditional and folk remedies to treat the common cold.
- The flower is biennial – meaning it lives for two years. The first year grows the rosette and the second year it sends up flower stalks.
- Butterflies, bees and other insects use the flower for its sweet nectar.
- The Black-eyed Susan is food for several animals including deer, slugs, rabbits, snails and more.
- They are known as a pioneer plant – meaning it is the first plant to grow in a new field. If a fire were to burn down part of a forest, the Black-eyed Susan would be one of the first plants growing again.
Maryland’s State Tree – The White Oak
The White Oak is not only Maryland’s state tree, but Illinois and Connecticut’s as well. This large, long-living and sturdy tree became the official state tree of Maryland in 1941. They are popular throughout eastern North America and can reach heights of 60-150 feet, with diameter of 3-4 feet round. It features a large whitish, grayish color trunk with fresh green leaves. In the Spring, new leaves will exhibit a pink color before turning their brilliant green.
Interesting facts about the White Oak
- The White Oak can live up to 600 years.
- At 50 years of age it begins producing acorns. One White Oak can produce up to 10,000 annually.
- With the acorns’ sweet taste, they are the nutritional diet for over 80 species of birds and mammals.
- Native Americans used to grind them into flour.
- White Oaks are known as the “shade tree” for they have a big spread canopy to block the sunlight.
- They depend on animals, particularly blue jays or squirrels, to spread their seeds to new places so others can grow. The wood is used to make beautiful and robust hardwood lumber.
- White Oaks have male and female flowers. The females are small reddish spikes, while the males hang as greenish-yellow flower.
Virginia’s State Tree and Flower – The Flowering Dogwood
The Flowering Dogwood is both Virginia’s state tree and flower. It is known for its stunningly beautiful flowers that blossom in snow white, pink or
sometimes red. Following the bloom of the flowers in early May, are clusters of bright, red fruit that remain until winter. The tree itself grows to be about 15-20 feet and consists of a deeply ridged, rough bark – almost resembling crocodile skin.
Interesting facts about the Flowering Dogwood
- The Flowering Dogwood attracts many exotic birds through its dogwood berries. It is the perfect tree for people who love bird watching.
- There are 15 variations of Dogwood trees and each thrive in a particular climate/habitat.
- Dogwoods can sometimes catch Anthracnose, a fungal plant disease known to attack the leaves, flowers and fruits.
- Direct sunlight can hinder the growth of a Flowering Dogwood. They flourish best when purchased as a potted tree or bare-root tree, planted in moderate sun.
- Myths say the Dogwood name developed because dogs were washed with brew from its bark.
Next time you’re out and about, look for these beautiful state icons growing along the way.
This article used the following sources