Monday, December 13, 2010

USA - West Virginia - State Flower

(Rhododendron maximum)
The state flower of West Virginia was selected by the legislature January 29, 1903 after a vote by public school students across the state.

Sent by Julie, a Facebook friend from West Virginia.

This is from Wikipedia : Rhododendron maximum, also called Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rose Bay, American Rhododendron or Big Rhododendron, is a species of Rhododendron native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia south to northern Alabama.

R. maximum is an evergreen shrub growing to 4 m (13 ft), rarely 10 m (33 ft), tall. The leaves are 9-19 cm (3-8 in) long and 2-4 cm (0.75-1.5 in) broad. The flowers are 2.5-3 cm (1 in) diameter, white, pink or pale purple, often with small greenish-yellow spots. The fruit is a dry capsule 15-20 mm (.60-.79 in) long, containing numerous small seeds. The leaves can be poisonous. Leaves are sclerophyllous, simple, alternate, and oblong (10 to 30 cm long, 5 to 8 cm wide). It retains its waxy, deep-green leaves for up to 8 years, but once shed are slow to decompose. It produces large, showy, white to purple flowers each June.

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