When spring finally decides to join us in Michigan, there are a few sights and smells that come with the warmer temperatures. Blooming flowers, one of those flowers being the Michigan State flower, the Apple Blossom. Apple blossoms are budding all across the state, sprouting small, beautiful, white and pink flower buds.
According to Michigan.gov, the apple blossom, scientific name Pyrus coronaria, was designated as the state flower in 1897. It is native to the state and was chosen as it is one of the most fragrant flowered species of apple.
Flowering fruit trees not only signal an end to winter, but they also provide bees and other pollinators with an early source of nectar and pollen.
According to the Historical Society of Michigan, when French settlers came to Detroit in 1701, they were not a fan of the smaller, less sweet apples that were growing there. They wanted apples from their homeland, so they had seeds and young trees brought to Detroit from France. Decades later, people who lived in Michigan started noticing a new insect. This was the honeybee, which was first brought to America from England in 1622. To their surprise, honeybees helped the apple trees that were growing in the orchards.
Michigan ranks third in the nation in producing apples, with the western Lower Peninsula near Lake Michigan producing the most in the state. Apples are vital to Michigan, making more than $700 million to $900 million a year, says the Historical Society.
The apple blossom is not only Michigan’s State flower, but Arkansas as well. Nicknamed the ‘natural state’ because of their plentiful lakes, rivers, mountains, and wildlife, Arkansas chose the Apple Blossom as their state flower because of their known inspiring meanings, including optimism and good luck.
According to Davy Tree, apple trees typically bloom with pink flowers between mid-April and mid-May, only after having met a certain number of required hours of chill during winter dormancy. Typically, it ranges between 500 to 1,000 hours, though vary depending on the type of apple.