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Michigan State Flower
Adopted on April 28, 1997.
In 1897 Michigan legislators, feeling that "a refined sentiment" called for the naming of a state flower, designated the apple blossom, (Pyrus coronaria.) Joint Resolution 10 of that year noted "one of the most fragrant and beautiful flowered species of apple, the pyrus coronaria, is native to our state." Legislators also proudly declared that "Michigan apples have gained a worldwide reputation." A century later, Michigan ranks second in the nation in apple production.
Michigan State Flower: Apple Blossom
"Crab" derives from a Norse word meaning scrub or rough, but the true ancestry of the original native species of crab, Malus sylvestris, has been lost in time. We think it was first cultivated by Neolithic cultures in Europe and traces of its existence near settlements from slightly later periods have been recorded – mainly through remains of apple pips in charcoal.
Apples and crabapples are in the rose family, Rosaceae, in the genus Malus. Crabapples are differentiated from apples based on fruit size. If fruit is two inches in diameter or less, it is termed a crabapple. If the fruit is larger than two inches, it is classified as an apple.
Depending on the cultivar and spring temperatures, full bloom could occur as early as late April or delay until mid-May. Flowers are classified as single (five petals), semi-double (six-ten petals), or double (more than 10 petals). Double-flowering crabapples retain their flowers longer than other types, but fruiting is usually sparse.
The Apple Blossom
100 Years As The State Flower
Taxonomic Hierarchy of the Sweet Crab Apple
|Kingdom||Plantae – Plants|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta – Vascular plants|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta – Seed plants|
|Division||Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants|
|Class||Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons|
|Family||Rosaceae – Rose family|
|Genus||Malus Mill. – apple|
|Species||Malus coronaria (L.) Mill. – sweet crab apple|