Delaware State Flower

About the Delaware State Flower. This beautiful flower is actually a blossom from the peach tree. Passage of the act to adopt the Peach Blossom on May 9, 1895, was prompted by Delaware's reputation as the "Peach State," since her orchards contained more than 800,000 peach trees yielding a crop worth thousands of dollars at that time. A movement to make the Goldenrod the state flower almost became reality until many petitioned the state to make the Peach Blossom the Delaware State Flower instead. How could the Goldenrod be considered the state flower when Delaware was known as the Peach State?

The Petitioners were granted their request and Delaware adopted the beautiful blossom and the blossom was given its due recognition. The Peach blossom (Prunus persica, a native of China, is the Delaware State Flower. The peach tree bears a juicy fruit of the same name. Peach blossoms are produced in early spring before the leaves. Many peach trees are planted in commercial orchards, and some are cultivated in gardens as ornamentals.

The Delaware State Flower blooms as a solitary or paired flower and can be large and showy or small and curved on margins. Peach blossoms appear before the Peaches leaves. Peach trees grow between 15-25 feet high and bear fruit at 3 to 4 years old, reaching their peak at 12 years. Peach blossoms exhibit cleistogamy, pollinating themselves prior to opening. The peach is the state fruit of South Carolina. Georgia is known as the Peach State.

Peach blossom blooms as a solitary or paired flower. The Peach blossom is 2.5-3 cm in diameter, with five petals. The Delaware State Flowers are light pink to carmine, to purplish in color. The ovary on the Peach blossom is perigynous, simple (single locule), and surrounded by a hypanthium. The color of the inner surface of the hypanthium on the Peach Blossom is indicative of flesh color.

Peaches were cultivated in China before written history, and moved to Persia (Iraq) along silk trading routes. The epithet persica denotes Persia, which is where Europeans first obtained peaches. Greeks and especially Romans spread the peach throughout Europe and England starting in 300-400 BC. Peaches came to the new world with explorers of the 16th-17th centuries, with Portuguese introducing it to S. America and Spaniards to N. America (Northern Florida/Georgia coast). Native Americans and settlers distributed the peach across N. America into southern Canada, and it is cultivated in 2/3 of the 48 contiguous states today. A small tree with a spreading canopy, usually 2-3.5 m in cultivation. Trees are short-lived, generally living only 15-20 years, and even less in cultivation (e.g., the average tree life expectancy in Georgia is 8 years). Leaves are linear with acute tips, folded slightly along the midrib, sickle-shaped in profile.

The Delaware State Flower is admired and utilized throughout the state of Delaware and will continue to bring pride and joy to all those who reside in this great state. Not only does this tree bring beauty to the state on an annual basis, but it brings a luscious, tasty fruit as well.

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