Indigenous Flowers and the Black-Eyed Susan of Maryland
Some of the indigenous flowers you’ll find in Maryland are the Common Blue Wood Aster, Blue-stem Goldenrod, Wild Geranium, Spring Beauty and the Common Blue Violet. But the one that earned the title of being Maryland’s State Flower is the Black-Eyed Susan or scientifically recognized as the Rudbeckia hirta. Black-Eyed Susan was designated as the state flower or the official floral emblem of that will represent the state of Maryland. The General Assembly of Maryland made this declaration official since 1918.
Black-Eyed Susan is also known in other names such as Brown Betty, Blackiehead, Brown-Eyed Susan, Golden Jerusalem and Brown Daisy. It is a member of the Asteraceae family. It is related to the family of sunflowers, coneflowers and perennial daises. These indigenous flowers Maryland are commonly found on roadsides and out in the fields. The plant of Black-Eyed Susan can reach from 2 to 3 feet tall and in the United States these flowers are native or indigenous in the eastern rocky mountain areas.
The flower heads of Black-Eyed Susan are strikingly attractive in appearance. It has a dark brown center spherical in shape that is encircled with golden yellow rays. Flower heads in diameter measures from 2 to 3 inches.
In 1896, Maryland Agriculture College decided that the state of Maryland should have a floral emblem that will represent the state. The inspiration to take this action came from the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 in Chicago. This motivated the women of the Maryland Agricultural College.
However, the flower that was chosen by the women of Maryland Agricultural College that will represent Maryland as its official floral emblem was not indigenous or native to the state. Black-Eyed Susans are not native of Maryland; nonetheless, the plant along with its beautiful flower grows all throughout the "Old Line State". The fields of Maryland are covered with beautiful waves of Black-Eyed Susan in shades of yellow and orange during the late summer that continues its full bloom throughout the fall season.
Even if the colors of Black-Eyed Susan reflects the hues used on Lord Baltimore’s coat of arms, it was still denigrated and received plenty of criticism. The choice of selecting this particular flower as Maryland’s state flower was strongly criticized by an article featured on the Baltimore Sun. The opposed group referred to the Black-Eyed Susan as a common vagabond, nothing more, an ordinary weed that is not native to Maryland.
The Black-Eyed Susan came to the state of Maryland as a migrant. The flower came from the Midwest, the Black-Eyed Susan were mixed with hayseed and clovers.
But supporters of the Black-Eyed Susan prevailed and triumphantly overcame all criticisms. The general Assembly of Maryland made and act, a legislature adopting the Black-Eyed Susan as the official State Flower of Maryland on April 18, 1918. The choice to make this flower the official floral emblem of Maryland has no regrets up to this date. Now, the choice seemed a natural one with the flower’s colors blending naturally and nicely with the state bird and the state flag of Maryland.
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