For our second week of highlighting the State Floral Emblems from across our big and beautiful country, we have chosen the State of Iowa. Iowa’s state floral emblem, the Wild Rose, was selected in 1897. The state legislature did not name a specific species of wild rose, but the Wild Prairie Rose (Rose Pratincola) is typically named as the official flower.
The Wild Prairie Rose has a bloom that is about 2 inches across with a single layer of 5 heart-shaped petals. It is fragrant and blooms from June through late summer. The Prairie Rose grows randomly, in 3-5 blooming clumps, in prairies as well as at the edge of woodlands and forests, and in fencerows and thickets. Prairie Roses are varying shades of pink, but also can be seen in white. They have numerous yellow stamens at the center of each bloom. The Prairie rose has fewer thorns and larger blooms than most wild roses, making it a popular variety for cultivation, so it is sold at many nurseries. Wild roses have been around for about 35 million years and grow naturally throughout much of North America.