Bitterroot Flowers of Montana
Even before Bitterroot became the official State Flower of Montana, the flower
was already an icon that made its mark all through out the entire state. Before
Bitterroot, the WTCU or the Women’s Christian Temperance union of Montana had
the “little blue flower that grows near the snow banks” as its official state
flower. However, the choice was altered two years later. The Women’s Christian
Temperance Union voted and designated the Bitterrot as the official floral
emblem that will represent the state of Montana.
The Bitterroot or Lewisia rediviva was a discovery of the Lewis and Clark
expedition In the year 1805. To be exact, it was Meriwether Lewis who discovered
this perennial plant. A Bitterroot plant grows not very far from the ground. The
flower of Bitterroot plants are delicately shaded. You can find these lovely
wildflowers in colors of exquisite pink, offering you the sight of real beauty.
Bitterroot had its genus name derived from its discovere which was Lewis, while
the rediviva was a name connected to the plant because of its hardiness.
Referred to as the “resurrection flower” for the reason that this particular
plant can live and survive for a year without rain or water. One of the famous
landmarks of Montana, the “Bitter Root Valley” borrowed its name from the
Flowers of Bitterroot are large and showy, its color varies from white, rosy to
deeper shades of pink. Petals can be counted from 12 to 18 but usually they are
15 in numbers. The showy petals are oblong or somewhat elongated in shape that
measures from 18 to 35 millimeters in length. You will also find 6 to 9
oval-shaped sepals from 10 to 25 millimeters long with colors similar to those
of the petals. A Bitterroot usually holds a single flower on its stem, however,
typically at times you’ll be able to see two to three flowers as well.
Among the state flowers of Montana, nothing has been endowed with the same love
and importance as the Bitterroot of the state. The choice to change the state
flower to what it is now is the most logical choice made in the history of
Montana. With Bitterroot’s strong Indian Heritage, it is the most appropriate
and the most rightful floral emblem of the state of Montana.
It was a Montana legislature act that adopted the Bitterroot, Lewisia rediviva
as Montana’s official state floral emblem made effective on the 27th of
February, year 1895. It was a crusade made and pushed almost single-handedly by
bozeman’s Mary Long Anderson, a mother, journalist and a proud activist.
Mary Long Anderson persuaded the Legislature of Montana to officially adopt the
most beloved Bitterroot as the floral emblem of the state. She took action by
forming institutions such as the Montana Floral Emblem Association in Januray
1894 and focused on her mission. Her goal was put into action with the help of
her husband Mathew William Anderson. She wanted to hold an election a statewide
voting event that will choose the floral emblem that will represent the state of
Thirty-seven flower were voted upon and among the 5,857 votes that were returned
and tallied, Bitterrot won the election hands down garnering 62% of the total
votes. The Wild Rose with 668 votes came in as third and second was the Evening
Primrose with 787 votes. The rest of the flowers had 781 votes shared among
themselves. There’s no question with 3, 621 votes, Bitterroot is the heart of