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

Africa

Mauritius

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

Seychelles

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

South Africa

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

Tunisia

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

Asia

Bangladesh

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

Bhutan

The national flower of Bhutan is the blue poppy.[4] Previously misidentified as the non-native Meconopsis grandis, national flower of Bhutan was identified in 2017 as Meconopsis gakyidiana, a new distinct species.[5]

Brunei

The national flower of Brunei is Simpoh Ayer (Dillenia suffruticosa).[6]

Cambodia

Cambodia's national flower, the romduol
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.[7] The royal decree designates the taxon as Mitrella mesnyi, however, this is a taxonomically illegitimate synonym for Sphaerocoryne affinis.[8]

Hong Kong

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

India

The national flower of India is the lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera).[9] 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

Jasminum sambac, the national flower of Indonesia and the Philippines
Jasminum sambac, the national flower of Indonesia and the Philippines

Main article: List of Indonesian floral emblems

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

All three were chosen on World Environment Day in 1990,[10] and enforced by law through Presidential Decree (Keputusan Presiden) No. 4 1993,[11] 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 34 provinces of Indonesia also has a native plant as its provincial flower.

Iran

Water lily, Iran's national symbolic flower
Water lily, Iran's national symbolic flower

The national flower of Iran is the water lily which is also called nymphaea (Niloofare Abi, in Persian). The flower is the national flower of Iran since the Achaemenid Empire era (552 BC).[12]

Darius the great holds a water lily In Persepolis
Darius the great holds a water lily In Persepolis

Israel

The poppy anemone, Israel's national flower
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.[13][14]

Jordan

The national flower of Jordan is Black iris (Iris nigricans).[15]

Laos

The national flower of Laos is the plumeria (champa),[6] despite it no longer being endemic.

Malaysia

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

The national flower of Malaysia is the bunga raya (Chinese hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).[6][16]

Maldives

The national flower of the Maldives is the pink polyantha rose (Rosa polyantha), called fiyaathoshi finifenmaa.[17]

Mongolia

The national flower of Mongolia is Scabiosa comosa (Mongolian: бэр цэцэг, ber tsetseg).[18]

Myanmar

The national flower of Myanmar is Pterocarpus indicus (paduak).[6]

Nepal

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

The national flower of Nepal is the rhododendron.[19]

North Korea

The national flower of North Korea is the Korean mountain magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii, Korean: 목란/木蘭 mongnan).[20]

Pakistan

The national flower of Pakistan is common jasmine also known as Jasminum officinale.[21]

Philippines

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.[6] It is popularly strung into garlands that are presented to visitors and dignitaries, and is a common offering to religious images.

Sampaguita in Filipino language is a direct loan word from the Indian sanskrit word "campaka".[22][23] Plants of some species of flowers like sampaguita, fruits like mango and nangka, vegetables like ampalaya, patola, malunggay, name of Philippine's pre-Christian chief god Bathala (from sanskrit Bhattara Guru, came from India during pre-Spanish Indianised trade and influences.[24] Among strong traces of continuity of Hindu influence in Philippines are placing of sampaguita garland around the neck of visitors to show hospitality and friendship, throwing the rice over bride and groom for prosperity, performing paninilbihan, paying dowry, visiting a shrine to pray for fertility, etc.[25]

Singapore

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

The national flower of South Korea is Hibiscus syriacus.[26] Known in South Korea as mugunghwa (Korean: 무궁화), the flower's symbolism relates to the Korean word mugung, which means "eternity" or "inexhaustible abundance".[27] 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).[28]

Sri Lanka

Nymphaea nouchali is the national flower of Sri Lanka.
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).[29][30] 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.[31][32]

Taiwan

Main article: National Flower of the Republic of China

The national flower of the Republic of China was officially designated as the plum blossom by the Executive Yuan on 21 July 1964.[33] 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.[34][35] 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.[33][34]

Thailand

The national flower of Thailand is the Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula), locally known as dok khuen or rachapruek.[6]

Europe

Andorra

Austria

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

Belgium

Bulgaria

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

England

Estonia

Finland

France

Guernsey

Iceland

Lithuania

Northern Ireland

Poland

Portugal

Portugal does not officially have a national flower, though the lavender is commonly cited.[44][45] The carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) is also a symbol of the nation's triumph against the authoritarian far-right Estado Novo dictatorship, known as the Carnation Revolution.

Romania

The national flower of Romania is peony.

Russia

The national flower of Russia is chamomile.[42]

Slovakia

Spain

The national flower of Spain is the red carnation.[46][47]

Sweden

The national flower of Sweden is Campanula rotundifolia, known as small bluebell.[48] It won a public vote in 2021.[49]

Switzerland

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

United Kingdom

Milk thistle flowerhead
Milk thistle flowerhead

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

Ukraine

The national flower of Ukraine is Viburnum,[42] cherry, or sunflower.

North America

Canada

The maple leaf is widely used as a symbol for Canada. The maple tree was officially recognized as Canada's arboreal emblem in 1996.[50]

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

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

United States

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation to make the rose the national floral emblem of the United States.[65][66] 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

Antigua and Barbuda

The national flower of Antigua and Barbuda is Agave karatto, also known as "dagger log" or "batta log".[67]

The Bahamas

Tecoma stans

The national flower of the Bahamas is the Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans).[68]

Barbados

The national flower of Barbados is known locally as the Pride of Barbados (Caesalpinia pulcherrima).[69]

Belize

The national flower of Belize is the black orchid (Prosthechea cochleata).[70]

Costa Rica

The national flower of Costa Rica is the guaria morada (Guarianthe skinneri).[71]

Dominica

The national flower of Dominica is Sabinea carinalis, commonly known as Carib wood or Bois Caraibe.[72]

Dominican Republic

The Bayahibe Rose, the national flower of the Dominican Republic
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.[73]

Guatemala

The national flower of Guatemala is the monja blanca (Lycaste skinneri var. alba).[74]

Haiti

Hibiscus, the national flower of Haiti
Hibiscus, the national flower of Haiti

The national flower of Haiti is the Choeblack or rose kayenn (Hibiscus).[75][76]

Honduras

The national flower of Honduras is the orchid Rhyncholaelia digbyana.[77]

Jamaica

The national flower of Jamaica is the lignum vitae (Guaiacum officinale).[78]

Oceania

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

Australia

Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was officially proclaimed the floral emblem of Australia on 1 September 1988.[79]

French Polynesia

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

Fiji

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

New Zealand does not have an official national flower, but the silver fern (foliage) is acknowledged as its national emblem.[80] 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

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

Argentina

The flower of the ceibo tree, the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay
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.[81]

Bolivia

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

Brazil

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

Chile

Copihue, the national flower of Chile
Copihue, the national flower of Chile

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

Colombia

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

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

Peru

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

The national flower of Paraguay is Mburucuyá.

Suriname

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

Uruguay

Cattleya mossiae, the national flower of Venezuela
Cattleya mossiae, the national flower of Venezuela

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

Venezuela

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

Subnational plants

See also: List of Indian state flowers, List of U.S. state flowers, List of U.S. state trees, County flowers of the United Kingdom, and Province flowers of Sweden

Country Subdivision Name Pictures Notes
 Canada Alberta Wild Rose[82]
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[83]
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[84]
(Spartium junceum)
Spartium junceum (habitus).jpg Usually along with red poppies
Galicia Gorse flower[85]
(Ulex europaeus)

Australia

Main article: List of Australian floral emblems

Norway

Pakistan

Main article: List of Pakistani floral emblems

United Kingdom

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

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.[89] 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

Armenia

No plant or flower seems to be among the current official symbols.[90] Some flowering plants from the area include Althaea armeniaca, Armenian Basket, Muscari armeniacum, Armenian Poppy, Armenian vartig (vargit), and Tulipa armena.

Azerbaijan

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.[91]

Belarus

The unofficial national flower of Belarus is wild blue flax,[42] Centaurea.

China

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.[33] 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.[33][34][35]

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.[92] 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

No flower has been officially declared as a national symbol. Unofficially the rose and the orchid are claimed to hold that title.[93]

Egypt

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

In a 2018 public vote Vernonia djalonensis was voted as the national flower of Guinea, a decision which is currently awaiting government approval[94]

Italy

Italy doesn't have an official floral emblem, though the Lily lilium is commonly cited. Other less common options are the Rose and the White poppy.[95]

Japan

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

While the Netherlands does not have an official national flower, the tulip is widely considered to be its national flower.[96]

France

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

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.[6][97] The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is generally regarded as the unofficial national flower of Vietnam,[98] as portrayed, for example, on their postage stamps.[99] In Vietnamese tradition, the lotus is regarded as the symbol of purity, commitment and optimism for the future.[6]

See also

References

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  30. ^ Zeylanica (Nymphaea stellata)
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