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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
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Virginia State Tree
(Cornaceae Cornus florida)
Adopted on February 24, 1956.
The dogwood, Cornaceae Cornus florida, was adopted as the state tree on February 24, 1956. The dogwood is well distributed throughout the Commonwealth, and its beauty is symbolic of the many attractive features of Virginia. The dogwood blooms in early spring and its blossom is a tiny cluster of flowers surrounded by four white leaves that look like petals. In 1918, the state floral emblem commonly known as the American dogwood (Cornus florida) was adopted. It was selected to foster a feeling of pride in our state and to stimulate an interest in the history and traditions of the Commonwealth.
Description of the Virginia State Tree
Flowering dogwood is one of America's most popular ornamental trees. Known to most people simply as dogwood, it has other common names, including boxwood and cornel. The species name florida is Latin for flowering, but the showy petal-like bracts are not in fact flowers. The bright red fruit of this fast-growing short-lived tree are poisonous to humans but provide a great variety of wildlife with food. The wood is smooth, hard and close-textured and now used for specialty products.
Taxonomic Hierarchy of the Flowering Dogwood
All of the state trees, except the Hawaii state tree, are native to the state in which they are designated.