In 1901, when Arkansas declared the Apple Blossom its official state floral emblem, it was the largest apple producing state in the country! Since then, apple production has greatly decreased, and now Arkansas is 32nd in apple production, but it remains the state flower. Though not the primary cultivating state, apple trees are still spread all over the state and the town of Lincoln in Washington county hosts an Apple Festival every year.
Apple trees flower from April to June then fruit in the fall. The blooms are white or pink, sometimes both and are fragrant. They come in single (5 petals), semi-double (6-9 petals) and double (10+ petal) varieties. The variety considered the state flower is largely ornamental as the fruit is sour and primarily used to make jellies. The trees grow 20 – 40 feet in height and have rough blackish bark and gnarled twisting branches. Apples are actually native to Europe and were brought over by early European settlers. Today, there are close to 1000 varieties of apples cultivated across the country that are all thought to have originated from the Wild Crabapple (Pyrus coronaria, Linne). This variety is not eaten but primarily used to make apple cider.