Ohio State Flower

Scarlet Carnation
Dianthus caryophyllus

Although the fruit of the buckeye tree has symbolized Ohio since the mid-1800s, it wasn't until 1904 that the scarlet carnation was chosen as our official state flower. This flower was a favorite of William McKinley and was adopted by the state legislature partly because it represented a token of love and reverence for the Ohio president. When Legislator Elijah W. Hill introduced the adoption resolution on the floor of the Ohio House of Representatives, he said, in part: "England has the rose, France has the lily; Ireland, the shamrock; Scotland, the thistle. These flowers awaken in the hearts of the natives of these countries memories of home, fireside, childhood days, sweet sorrows, family ties, and incidents of the land of their nativity. To these ends we seek to adopt the scarlet carnation as Ohio's floral emblem."