Floral emblem

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In a number of countries, plants have been chosen as symbols to represent specific geographic areas. Some countries have a country-wide floral emblem; others in addition have symbols representing subdivisions. Different processes have been used to adopt these symbols – some are conferred by government bodies, whereas others are the result of informal public polls. The term floral emblem, which refers to flowers specifically, is primarily used in Australia and Canada. In the United States, the term state flower is more often used.

National plants[edit]

Africa[edit]

Mauritius[edit]

The national flower of Mauritius is Trochetia boutoniana.[1]

Seychelles[edit]

The national flower of the Seychelles is the tropicbird orchid (known locally as orkid payanke), Angraecum eburneum.[2]

South Africa[edit]

The national flower of South Africa is the King Protea, Protea cynaroides.[3]

Tunisia[edit]

The national flower of Tunisia is jasmine. It was chosen as a symbol for the 2010 Tunisian Revolution.

Asia[edit]

Bangladesh[edit]

The national flower of Bangladesh is the water lily Nymphaea nouchali. It is called shada shapla (সাদা শাপলা) in the Bengali language.

Brunei[edit]

The national flower of Brunei is Simpoh Ayer (Dillenia suffruticosa).[4]

Cambodia[edit]

Cambodia's national flower, the romduol

Cambodia formally adopted the romduol (Khmer: រំដួល) as its national flower in the year 2005 by a royal decree.[5] The royal decree designates the taxon as Mitrella mesnyi, however, this is a taxonomically illegitimate synonym for Sphaerocoryne affinis.[6]

Hong Kong[edit]

The symbolic flower of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong orchid tree ("洋紫荊"),Bauhinia × blakeana.

India[edit]

The national flower of India is the lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera).[7] It is a sacred flower and occupies a unique position in the art and mythology of ancient India and has been an auspicious symbol of Indian culture since time immemorial.

Indonesia[edit]

Jasminum sambac, the national flower of Indonesia and the Philippines

There are three types of floral emblems used to symbolize Indonesia:

  • The puspa bangsa ("national flower") of Indonesia is melati (Jasminum sambac).
  • The puspa pesona ("flower of charm") is anggrek bulan or moon orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis).[4]
  • The puspa langka ("rare flower") is padma raksasa rafflesia (Rafflesia arnoldii).

All three were chosen on World Environment Day in 1990,[8] and enforced by law through Presidential Decree (Keputusan Presiden) No. 4 1993,[9] On the other occasion, Bunga Bangkai (Titan arum) was also added as puspa langka together with Rafflesia.

Melati (Jasminum sambac), a small white flower with sweet fragrance, has long been considered a sacred flower in Indonesian tradition, as it symbolizes purity, sacredness, graceful simplicity and sincerity. For example, on her wedding day, a traditional Indonesian bride's hair is often adorned with arrangements of jasmine, while the groom's kris is often adorned with a lock of jasmine. However, jasmine is also often used as a floral offering for spirits and deities, and also often present during funerals, which has caused it to be seen as having mystical and sacred properties. Moon orchid was chosen for its beauty, while the other two rare flowers, Rafflesia arnoldii and Titan arum, were chosen to demonstrate uniqueness and Indonesia's rich biodiversity.

Each of the 33 provinces of Indonesia also has a native plant as its provincial flower.

Israel[edit]

The poppy anemone, Israel's national flower

The national flower of Israel is the poppy anemone (Anemone coronaria; calanit metzuya in Hebrew), chosen in 2013 to replace Cyclamen persicum.[10][11]

Laos[edit]

The national flower of Laos is the plumeria (champa),[4] despite it no longer being endemic.

Malaysia[edit]

The Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), Malaysia's national flower

The national flower of Malaysia is the bunga raya (Chinese hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).[4][12]

Maldives[edit]

The national flower of the Maldives is the pink polyantha rose (Rosa polyantha), called fiyaathoshi finifenmaa.[13]

Mongolia[edit]

The national flower of Mongolia is Scabiosa comosa (Mongolian: бэр цэцэг, ber tsetseg).[14]

Myanmar[edit]

The national flower of Myanmar is Pterocarpus indicus (paduak).[4]

Nepal[edit]

The rhododendron, the national flower of the Himalayan Republic of Nepal

The national flower of Nepal is the rhododendron.[15]

North Korea[edit]

The national flower of North Korea is the Korean mountain magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii, Korean: 목란/木蘭 mongnan).[16]

Philippines[edit]

The Philippines adopted the sampaguita (Arabian jasmine, Jasminum sambac) in 1934 as its national flower because it symbolises purity and cleanliness due to its colour and sweet smell.[4] It is popularly strung into garlands that are presented to visitors and dignitaries, and is a common offering to religious images.

Singapore[edit]

The national flower of Singapore is a hybrid orchid cultivar known as the Singapore orchid or Vanda Miss Joaquim (Papilionanthe teres × Papilionanthe hookeriana).

South Korea[edit]

The national flower of South Korea is Hibiscus syriacus.[17] Known in South Korea as mugunghwa (Korean: 무궁화), the flower's symbolism relates to the Korean word mugung, which means "eternity" or "inexhaustible abundance".[18] Despite being made the national flower officially after Korea regained its independence from Japan, mugunghwa has been associated with Korean culture for many centuries, with the Silla kingdom having called itself the "Country of the Mugunghwa" (Korean: 근화향, Romanized: Geunhwahyang).[19]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Nymphaea nouchali is the national flower of Sri Lanka.

The national flower of Sri Lanka is Nil mānel (නිල් මානෙල්), the blue-star water-lily (Nymphaea stellata).[20][21] Although nil means "blue" in Sinhala, the Sinhalese name of this plant is often rendered as "water-lily" in English. This beautiful aquatic flower appears in the Sigiriya frescoes and has been mentioned in ancient Sanskrit, Pali and Sinhala literary works. Buddhist lore in Sri Lanka claims that this flower was one of the 108 auspicious signs found on Prince Siddhartha's footprint.[22][23]

Taiwan[edit]

The national flower of the Republic of China was officially designated as the plum blossom by the Executive Yuan on 21 July 1964.[24] The plum blossom, known as the meihua (Chinese: 梅花; pinyin: méihuā), is a symbol of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, because plum trees often bloom most vibrantly even during the harshest winters.[25][26] The triple grouping of stamens represents Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People, while the five petals symbolize the five branches of the government.[24][25]

Thailand[edit]

The national flower of Thailand is the Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula), locally known as dok khuen or rachapruek.[4]

Europe[edit]

Austria[edit]

The national flower of Austria is edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale).

Belarus[edit]

The (unofficial) national flower of Belarus is wild blue flax,[27] Centaurea.

Belgium[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

Croatia[edit]

Cyprus[edit]

Denmark[edit]

  • Denmark – red clover (Trifolium pratense) and marguerite daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens). The latter is often modified to oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), a rather similar species that is native to the country (the marguerite daisy is not)[31]

Estonia[edit]

Finland[edit]

France[edit]

Guernsey[edit]

Iceland[edit]

Lithuania[edit]

Poland[edit]

Portugal[edit]

The national flower of Portugal is the carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus). It is a symbol of the Carnation Revolution, a military coup in Lisbon on 25 April 1974 which ended the authoritarian far-right Estado Novo dictatorship.

Russia[edit]

The national flower of Russia is chamomile.[27]

Slovakia[edit]

Spain[edit]

The national flower of Spain is the red carnation.[35][36]

Sweden[edit]

The national flower of Sweden is Campanula rotundifolia, known as small bluebell.[37] It won a public vote in 2021.[38]

Switzerland[edit]

The national flower of Switzerland is edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale).

United Kingdom[edit]

Milk thistle flowerhead

Each of the United Kingdom's four constituent countries has one or more national flower:

Ukraine[edit]

The national flower of Ukraine is Viburnum,[27] cherry, or sunflower.

North America[edit]

Canada[edit]

The maple leaf is widely used as a symbol for Canada. The maple tree was officially recognized as Canada's arboreal emblem in 1996.[39]

Canada's provinces and territories also have official provincial or territorial floral emblems:

Many Canadian flags and coats-of-arms have floral emblems on them. The flag of Montreal has four floral emblems. On the right side of the flag of Saskatchewan overlapping both green and gold halves is the western red lily, the provincial floral emblem. The coat of arms of Port Coquitlam has the city's floral emblem, the azalea, displayed on a collar. The coat of arms of Prince Edward Island displays lady's slippers, the floral emblem of the island. When coat of arms of Nova Scotia were reassumed in 1929, the trailing arbutus or mayflower, the floral emblem of Nova Scotia, was added.

Mexico[edit]

The national flower of Mexico is the dahlia (Dahlia pinnata).

United States[edit]

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation to make the rose the national floral emblem of the United States.[54][55] In each of the U.S. states, state flowers and trees have also been adopted as symbols by state legislatures.

Central America and the Caribbean[edit]

Antigua and Barbuda[edit]

The national flower of Antigua and Barbuda is Agave karatto, also known as "dagger log" or "batta log".[56]

The Bahamas[edit]

The national flower of the Bahamas is the Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans).[57]

Barbados[edit]

The national flower of Barbados is known locally as the Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima).[58]

Belize[edit]

The national flower of Belize is the black orchid (Prosthechea cochleata).[59]

Costa Rica[edit]

The national flower of Costa Rica is the guaria morada (Guarianthe skinneri).[60]

Dominica[edit]

The national flower of Dominica is Sabinea carinalis, commonly known as Carib wood or Bois Caraibe.[61]

Dominican Republic[edit]

The Bayahibe Rose, the national flower of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic's national flower was originally the flower of the caoba (mahogany tree, Swietenia mahagoni). In 2011, the mahogany was dubbed the national tree, vacating the national flower spot for the Bayahibe rose (Pereskia quisqueyana) in order to bring attention to its conservation.[62]

Guatemala[edit]

The national flower of Guatemala is the monja blanca (Lycaste skinneri var. alba).[63]

Haiti[edit]

Hibiscus, the national flower of Haiti

The national flower of Haiti is the Choeblack or rose kayenn (Hibiscus).[64][65]

Honduras[edit]

The national flower of Honduras is the orchid Rhyncolaelia digbyana.[66]

Jamaica[edit]

The national flower of Jamaica is the lignum vitae (Guaiacum officinale).[67]

Oceania[edit]

Golden Wattle, the floral emblem of Australia since 1988
New Zealand's floral emblem, the Kowhai

Australia[edit]

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was officially proclaimed the floral emblem of Australia on 1 September 1988.[68]

French Polynesia[edit]

The Tahitian gardenia (tiare flower) is the national flower of Tahiti, French Polynesia, and the Cook Islands.

Fiji[edit]

The national flower of Fiji is tagimaucia (Medinilla waterhousei), a vine with red and white flowers endemic to the highlands of the island of Taveuni.

New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand does not have an official national flower, but the silver fern (foliage) is acknowledged as its national emblem.[69] The Kowhai (Sophora spp., native trees with yellow cascading flowers) is usually regarded as the national flower. Other plant emblems are Koru (a curled fern symbol) and the crimson-flowered Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa), also called New Zealand's Christmas tree.

Tonga[edit]

The heilala (Garcinia sessilis) is Tonga's national flower. The name of Tonga's beauty pageant, the Heilala Festival, is taken from this flower. Resorts as well as consumer products are also often named after this flower, such as the Heilala Lodge and Heilala Vanilla. The flower is also used in Tonga for medicinal and ornamental purposes.

South America[edit]

Argentina[edit]

The flower of the ceibo tree, the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay

The national flower of Argentina is the flower of the ceibo tree (Erythrina crista-galli), also known as seibo or bucaré.[70]

Bolivia[edit]

Bolivia has two national flowers: the kantuta (Cantua buxifolia) and patujú (Heliconia rostrata).

Brazil[edit]

The national flower of Brazil is the flower of the golden trumpet tree (Handroanthus albus).

Chile[edit]

Copihue, the national flower of Chile

The national flower of Chile is the copihue (Lapageria rosea).

Colombia[edit]

Cattleya trianae is the national flower of Colombia and is the orchid which flowers in May. The May flower was chosen because the colors are the same as those of the Colombian flag.

Guyana[edit]

The national flower of Guyana is the Victoria regia lily (Victoria amazonica).

Peru[edit]

The national flower of Peru is the cantuta (also spelled kantuta or qantuta, from Quechua qantu). It can be found in the high valleys of the Andes in Peru and Bolivia.

Paraguay[edit]

The national flower of Paraguay is Mburucuyá.

Suriname[edit]

Called faya lobi ("fiery love") in Sranantongo, the jungle geranium (Ixora coccinea) is commonly considered a symbol of Suriname.

Uruguay[edit]

Cattleya mossiae, the national flower of Venezuela

The national flower of Uruguay is the flower of the ceibo tree (Erythrina crista-galli).

Venezuela[edit]

The national flower of Venezuela is the Flor de Mayo (Cattleya mossiae), an orchid.

Subnational plants[edit]

Country Subdivision Name Pictures Notes
 Canada Alberta Wild Rose[71]
British Columbia Pacific Dogwood Cornus nuttallii 08546.JPG
Manitoba Prairie Crocus
New Brunswick Purple Violet
Newfoundland and Labrador Pitcher plant The pitcher plant was officially declared as the provincial flower in 1954, but had appeared on the colony's coinage as early as the 1880s. It can be found in the marshlands of the province feeding on insects that fall into its leaves and drown.
Northwest Territories Mountain Avens
Nova Scotia Mayflower
Nunavut Purple Saxifrage
Ontario White Trillium Trillium grandiflorum 042316.jpg
Prince Edward Island Pink Lady's Slipper
Quebec Blue Flag Iris The Blue Flag Iris replaced the Madonna Lily in 1999, since the lily was not native to Quebec.
Saskatchewan Western Red Lily
Yukon Fireweed EpilobiumAngustifolium 6184.jpg
 Sweden Småland Linnaea borealis Linnaea borealis 1190.JPG The Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, sw. Carl von Linné (1707–1778), often called the father of taxonomy or "The flower-king", was born in Älmhult in Småland. He gave the Twinflower its Latin name based on his own (Latin: Linnaea borealis), because of his particular fondness of it. The flower has become Småland's provincial flower.
 China  Hong Kong Bauhinia blakeana The Bauhinia, the national flower of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The blossom, native to the territory was chosen as the logo of the Urban Council in 1965 and was later incorporated into the flag and emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China after the 1997 transfer of sovereignty.
 Macau Nelumbo nucifera Sacred lotus Nelumbo nucifera.jpg A stylised depiction of the flower can be seen in the territory's flag.
 Ireland County Offaly Bog-rosemary[72] Andromeda polifolia bloom.jpg
 Pakistan Proposed Flag of Islamabad Capital Territory.svg Islamabad Capital Territory Neeli Gulmohur
Hybrid tea rose
Jacarandá Mimoso(Jacaranda mimosifolia) na entrada da cidade de Jardinópolis - panoramio.jpg
Mainzer Fastnacht.JPG
The floral emblems of the four constituting provinces of Pakistan; however, they are all unofficial and are not recognised by the new Federal Government of Pakistan.
Flag of Balochistan.svg Balochistan Silver date palm tree
Tulipa sylvestris
A tree in desert.jpg
Lajvar (3).JPG
Flag of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.svg Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Afghan pine
Tulipa clusiana
Kızılçam ağacı - Pinus brutia 02.JPG
Tulipa clusiana1ScottZona.jpg
Flag of Punjab.svg The Punjab Indian rosewood
Sadabahar
Blackwood Tree (4656262165).jpg
Catharanthus roseus-1.jpg
Flag of Sindh.svg Sindh Indian lilac tree
Sindhi lotus
Dp977.jpg
White Lotus Blossom.JPG
Flag of Gilgit-Baltistan.svg Gilgit–Baltistan Himalayan deodar
Alpine Blue Star
Alpine in Kalam.jpg
Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea) - 26.JPG
Flag of Azad Kashmir.svg Azad Jammu and Kashmir Chinar tree/Kashmir maple tree
Snow Rose
Platanus orientalis tree.JPG
Rhododendron ferrugineux-Rose des Alpes (Rhododendron ferrugineum) en Vanoise.jpg
 Spain Catalonia Weaver's Broom[73]
(Spartium junceum)
Usually along with red poppies
Galicia Gorse flower[74]
(Ulex europaeus)

Australia[edit]

Norway[edit]

Pakistan[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

The Tudor rose is a combination of the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York.

Each of the four countries of the United Kingdom has a traditional floral emblem:

County flowers[edit]

A county flower is a flowering plant chosen to symbolise a county. They exist primarily in the United Kingdom, but some counties in other countries also have them.

One or two county flowers have a long history in England – the red rose of Lancashire dates from the Middle Ages, for instance. However, the county flower concept was only extended to cover the whole United Kingdom in 2002, as a promotional tool by a charity. In that year, the plant conservation charity Plantlife ran a competition to choose county flowers for all counties, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Plantlife's scheme is loosely based on Britain's historic counties, and so some current local government areas are not represented by a flower, and some of the counties included no longer exist as administrative areas. Flowers were also chosen for thirteen major cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham and Sheffield. The Isles of Scilly was also treated as a county (distinct from Cornwall) for the purpose of the scheme. The Isle of Man was included, even though it is not a county, but a self-governing territory outside of the United Kingdom with an existing national flower: the ragwort or cushag.[78] The Channel Islands were not included.

A total of 94 flowers was chosen in the competition. 85 of the 109 counties have a unique county flower, but several species were chosen by more than one county. Foxglove or Digitalis purpurea was chosen for four counties – Argyll, Birmingham, Leicestershire and Monmouthshire – more than any other species. The following species were chosen for three counties each:

And the following species were chosen for two counties:

In addition, Sticky Catchfly Lychnis viscaria was chosen for both Edinburgh and Midlothian, the county containing Edinburgh.

For most counties, native species were chosen, but for a small number of counties, non-natives were chosen, mainly archaeophytes.

Unofficial plants[edit]

Armenia[edit]

No plant or flower seems to be among the current official symbols.[79] Some flowering plants from the area include Althaea armeniaca, Armenian Basket, Muscari armeniacum, Armenian Poppy, Armenian vartig (vargit), and Tulipa armena.

Azerbaijan[edit]

Azerbaijan currently has no official national flower. Traditionally, various regions have different designations where national symbols are concerned. The city of Shusha named the Khari Bulbul (Ophrys caucasica) the floral emblem of the Nagorno-Karabakh.[80]

China[edit]

Plum blossom, or meihua (梅花).

China currently has no official national flower. Traditionally, various regions have different designations where national symbols are concerned.

In 1903, the Qing Dynasty named the peony (牡丹) the floral emblem of the nation. The peony has long been considered a flower of wealth and honor in China.

The puppet state Manchukuo followed Japan's model of dual floral emblems: the "spring orchid" (Cymbidium goeringii) for the Emperor and the imperial household, and the sorghum blossom (Sorghum bicolor) for the state and the nation.

The plum blossom, meihua (Chinese: 梅花; pinyin: méihuā), has also been one of the most beloved flowers in Chinese culture. The Republic of China government named the plum blossom as the national flower in 1964.[24] The plum blossom is symbol for resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, because plum blossoms often bloom most vibrantly even amidst the harsh winter snow.[24][25][26]

The People's Republic of China, which has controlled mainland China since 1949, has no official floral emblem. There have been several petitions in recent years to officially adopt one. However, the government has not taken any action yet. A poll in 2005 showed that 41% of the public supports peony as the national flower while 36% supported the plum blossom.[81] Some scholars have suggested that the peony and plum blossoms may be designated as dual national flowers. In addition, the orchid, jasmine, daffodil and chrysanthemum have also been held as possible floral symbols of China.

Ecuador[edit]

No flower has been officially declared as a national symbol. Unofficially the rose and the orchid are claimed to hold that title.[82]

Egypt[edit]

Both Blue Egyptian Lotus and White Egyptian Lotus are regarded as Egypt's national flowers, and they appear in many Ancient Egyptian paintings and monuments.

Guinea[edit]

In a 2018 public vote Vernonia djalonensis was voted as the national flower of Guinea, a decision which is currently awaiting government approval[83]

Japan[edit]

Cherry blossoms
Chrysanthemum morifolium
The cherry blossom and Chrysanthemum morifolium are usually considered the national flowers of Japan.

Japan's national government has never formally named a national flower, as with other symbols such as the green pheasant, which was named as national bird by a non-government body in 1947. In 1999, the national flag and anthem were standardised by law.

A de facto national flower for Japan for many is the sakura (cherry blossom), while a stylised depiction of a Chrysanthemum morifolium is used as the official emblem of the imperial family (Imperial Seal of Japan). The Paulownia blossom was also used by the imperial family in the past, but has since been appropriated by the Prime Minister and the government in general (Government Seal of Japan).

Netherlands[edit]

While the Netherlands does not have an official national flower, the tulip is widely considered to be its national flower.[84]

France[edit]

While France does not have an official national flower, the fleur-de-lis, which was a symbol of the royal family, as well as the cornflower (blue), marguerite (white), and red poppy, which together represent the tri-colored national flag, are also generally treated as French national flowers.

Vietnam[edit]

While Vietnam does not have an official flower, four plants are traditional regarded as the four graceful plants, namely: the lotus, the pine, bamboo, and the chrysanthemum.[4][85] The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is generally regarded as the unofficial national flower of Vietnam,[86] as portrayed, for example, on their postage stamps.[87] In Vietnamese tradition, the lotus is regarded as the symbol of purity, commitment and optimism for the future.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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