STATE FLOWERS by Anne Ophelia Dowden


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Though one would hope that teachers have long since given up those inane checklist reports on the states, with Official Flower fitting in somewhere between Area and Population, suddenly we have two state flower handbooks appearing simultaneously. Unsurprisingly, neither Dowden nor Simon (below) has found much of interest to say about the general practice of women's groups or schoolchildren voting on a statewide botanical emblem. Their state-by-state coverage of the separate flowers is similar (though there are discrepancies--on the maximum height of the saguara cactus, for example, or the narcotic properties of the golden poppy), but of the two Dowden generally provides more, and more precise (thus more interesting) historical and botanical information. She includes (for what it's worth) the official, dated state legislature resolutions; her research appears to be more thorough and her conclusions correspondingly more accurate (the yellow lady slipper does grow in Minnesota); and her full-page illustrations, each facing a small full page of text, are far lovelier and more realistically detailed as well.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1978
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell