Arizona State Flower
Adoption of the Arizona State Flower
The saguaro cactus seems to have made its first foray into Arizona officialdom on an 1864 version of the Territorial Seal.
Originally designed in 1863 by the first Secretary of the Arizona Territory (later Governor), Richard Cunningham McCormick, the seal depicted a miner in front of a wheelbarrow with a pick and a short-handled spade. Two mountains rose in the background. McCormick's seal also included the motto, Ditat Deus. The seal was not well received by later statesmen and numerous changes were made over the years.
The first change was authorized by the first Territorial Legislature in the fall of 1864. They specified a seal with a view of San Francisco mountain [sic] in the distance and a deer, pine trees, and columnar cactus in the foreground. This seal was first used in 1879. Versions of this seal were used until Arizona gained statehood and a 1905 version was used on the original 1910 Arizona Constitution.
The saguaro's blossom was adopted as the official flower of the Arizona Territory on March 18, 1901
According to the Arizona Blue Book 1929-1930, compiled by Secretary of State I. P. Fraizer, the State flower of Arizona is the sahuara cactus (Cereus giganteus) but it wasn't until 1931 that it became official. Note the spelling, "sahuara" in the Arizona Blue Book and the act below.
The saguaro blossom was officially adopted as the Arizona State flower on March 16, 1931. The act says:
The spelling of Arizona's state flower has been changed from "Sahuara" to "Saguaro" in current law. The saguaro cactus is also known as the pitahaya, sahuara and giant cactus.
The Arizona Revised Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 41, Chapter 4.1, Article 5, Section 41-855.
TITLE 41. STATE GOVERNMENT.
The pure white waxy flower of the cereus giganteus (giant cactus) or Saguaro shall be the state flower.
THE SAGUARO: Grand Symbol of the West: Text and photos by Linda McMillin Pyle.
Saguaro Cactus: (Carnegiea gigantea): Information from DesertUSA.com.
State Flower List: List of all of the state flowers.
State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book by Annika Bernhard - 51 accurately detailed, copyright-free renderings include national bird (eagle) and flower (rose) plus 50 state birds and flowers.
U. S. State Flowers in Cross Stitch by Gerda Bengtsson - Botanically correct cross stitch designs of state flowers of the 50 States.
Quilting Flowers of the States by Sue Harvey - A lovely 12-inch flower block for each of the 50 states. Techniques used are piecing, appliqu?, paper-piecing and three-dimensional techniques.
Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.
Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)
Source: Arizona Revised Statutes, (http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp), June 1, 2005
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