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Illinois State Flower

Common blue violet; photo by Dendroica cerulea on Flickr (use permitted with attribution).

Official State Flower of Illinois

Illinois designated the violet (Viola sp.) as the official state flower in 1908. Violets are found growing on the prairie and on lawns, and also in the woods and wetlands of Illinois. All State Flowers

In 1907 Illinois schoolchildren voted to select the violet as the state flower and the native oak as state tree (other contenders for state flower were the wild rose and goldenrod). There are eight different species of blue-flowering violets in Illinois; the most common is the dooryard violet (Viola sororia).

The incentive for adopting state flowers was inspired during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Illinois was the first of 4 eastern states to officially adopt the common violet as the state flower (Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin).