State Flower – Pennsylvania (PA)

When most people think of the state of Pennsylvania, they probably think of its history and the large cities there, like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but there is much more than just cities! Pennsylvania is also blanketed in picturesque farmland, large state forests, and the ancient Appalachian Mountain range that cuts clean through the state. In 1933, the Mountain Laurel was declared the state flower of Pennsylvania.

The Mountain Laurel is a lovely evergreen shrub with fragrant, star-shaped pink and white blooms that grows through much of eastern North America, ranging from southern Maine in the north all the way to northern Florida in the south and as far west as Louisiana and Indiana. The Mountain Laurel is considered by many horticulturalists to be the most beautiful native American shrub. Some species in the southern US can grow up to 40 feet tall, but most varieties grow between 4-10 feet on rocky hillsides and mountain tops throughout the Appalachian Mountain range.

In Pennsylvania, the Mountain Laurel begins to bloom in late May and is in full bloom by mid-June, covering much of the state in beautiful pink blossoms. Every Spring tourists are lured from surrounding states and communities to take in the natural splendor in the mountains. The laurels have showy clusters of 1-inch blooms that are bowl-shaped with points on the tip of each petal-like a star and rosy-colored markings around the center pistil and stamens. They are truly beautiful and are the highlight of Spring in the Appalachians.

Mountain Laurel blooming