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What Is the State Flower of Maryland

What Is the State Flower of Maryland?

Maryland, known as the “Old Line State” and located on the eastern coast of the United States, boasts a rich cultural heritage and a wide variety of natural beauty. One iconic symbol of the state is its official flower, the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). This vibrant and cheerful flower holds a special place in the hearts of Marylanders and is celebrated for its resilience and beauty.

The Black-eyed Susan, also known as the Rudbeckia or the yellow ox-eye daisy, is a native wildflower that blooms throughout Maryland’s fields, meadows, and roadsides during the summer months. It features bright golden-yellow petals surrounding a dark brown center, creating a stunning contrast that catches the eye. The flower’s name is derived from its resemblance to a black-eyed woman, with the dark center representing her eye and the golden petals her flowing hair.

The choice of the Black-eyed Susan as Maryland’s state flower dates back to 1918 when the Maryland General Assembly held a vote to select an official state flower. Citizens were invited to vote, and the Black-eyed Susan emerged as the clear winner. The flower’s selection was influenced by its prevalence in the state, as well as its vibrant colors, which reflect the spirit and energy of Maryland.

The Black-eyed Susan holds a significant place in Maryland’s history and culture. It is often associated with the state’s horse racing tradition, as it is used to make garlands for the winning horses of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown. The Preakness Stakes, held annually at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, has been a Maryland tradition since 1873.

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Additionally, the Black-eyed Susan serves as the inspiration for the Maryland state flag. The flag features the colors yellow and black, reminiscent of the flower’s petals and center. The flag’s design is a unique combination of the coats of arms of the Calvert and Crossland families, who were early settlers in Maryland and played significant roles in its history.


Q: When does the Black-eyed Susan bloom in Maryland?
A: The Black-eyed Susan typically blooms from June to August in Maryland. Its vibrant yellow flowers can be seen dotting the state’s fields and meadows during this time.

Q: Can I grow Black-eyed Susans in my garden?
A: Absolutely! Black-eyed Susans are popular garden flowers due to their vibrant colors and low maintenance requirements. They prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Plant them in well-drained soil and water them regularly during dry spells.

Q: Are Black-eyed Susans native to Maryland only?
A: No, Black-eyed Susans are native to various regions of North America, including Maryland. However, they can be found in other states as well, thriving in meadows, prairies, and open woodlands.

Q: Are Black-eyed Susans beneficial to pollinators?
A: Yes, Black-eyed Susans are highly attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Their bright colors and nectar-rich flowers make them a valuable source of food and habitat for these important creatures.

Q: Are there any threats to the Black-eyed Susan population in Maryland?
A: While the Black-eyed Susan is not currently listed as a threatened or endangered species, habitat loss due to development and invasive plant species can pose a threat to its population. Conservation efforts, such as planting native species and preserving natural areas, can help protect this iconic flower.

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In conclusion, the Black-eyed Susan holds a special place in the heart of Marylanders as the state flower. Its vibrant yellow petals and dark center represent the resilience and beauty of the state. Whether adorning horse racing winners or brightening up gardens, this iconic flower continues to bring joy and color to the Old Line State.

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