Oregon has chosen as the Oregon state flower a quite reasonable flower to represent itself. The Oregon state flower is the Oregon-grape. The Oregon-grape is drought tolerant, can grow in poor soil, and produces very little leaf litter. The last characteristic, I think, is the one which makes the plant sound the most reasonable. Not only does the plant grow well in poor conditions, but the plant also produces very little waste. The Oregon-grape is one which advertises itself for planting around one’s house. The plant requires little care, grows well in poor conditions, and doesn’t even need a person to clean up after it much. The plant produces yellow flowers and a fruit that resembles a grape. The fruit is quite bitter and is not eaten without being sweetened first. It is sometimes used in jellies. The leaves of the Oregon state flower are like holly and are evergreen. This has led to the leaves being sometimes used by florists and has spawned a small industry for gathering the leaves.
The only thing unreasonable about the Oregon state flower is its name. The Oregon-grape is not closely related to the grape. The similarity exists in the resemblance between the fruit that they bear. However the similarity ends with the resemblance between how the fruit looks on a grape plant and on the Oregon-grape. The fruit does not even have a similar taste. I think it a little bit funny when one plant is named after another plant. The process of naming one plant after another shows the plants which we endow with significance. The Oregon-grape is named after the grape, because of its resemblance to an important plant, the grape. We commonly eat the fruit and use it in many products. If we had found no use for the grape it is unlikely that the Oregon-grape plant would be named after the grape. Without its significance in human lives, the grape is less likely to be commonly known. Being commonly known and endowed with significance, the grape is more likely to get another plant named after it as it has in the Oregon state flower.
Oregon has chosen for its state flower a plant native to the area. The plant grows naturally in only a few states in the United States. It is common along the northwest coast from northern California and up across the United States border into Canada. I like when states choose a plant that naturally grows in their state to represent themselves. It makes more sense to me to choose a flower that grows in your area to represent yourself than to choose a flower from another area. I suppose that besides being native, the plant has significance specifically to Oregon because of the Oregon part of the name of the plant. Many states choose for themselves a flower that includes their state name. This seems to denote a general pride in the state. I also suppose if Oregon is the one looking at the Oregon-grape, the Oregon part of the name is much more important than the grape part of the name.