Marieta's Retirement Ramblings

The Wild Rose, Iowa’s State Flower


Last week Dave and I rode our bicycles with our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter to Summerset State Park, about 6.5 miles from our home, following an old railroad bed. The ride is downhill going out, uphill coming home! While there, I took this picture of our state flower, the Wild Rose.

Wild Rose at Summerset State Park, June 2013

The rose was seen by early pioneers to the state and it continues to grow wild throughout the state. In 1896 the Wild Rose was selected as the motif for a silver tea set to be used on the battleship Iowa. On May 6, 1897 it was adopted as the state flower of Iowa.

Today the bushes often grow along country roads or in pastures. They grow to 3 or more feet tall and are covered with the pink blossoms in June. Later in the season, fruit, called “hips,” appear. The hips resemble small apples about a half inch in diameter and it is said that some Indians and perhaps early pioneers boiled the hips to make a syrup.

I didn’t know all this before I did the research. I only knew this is our state flower. Amazing!



Naeve, Linda, “Iowa’s State Flower – the Wild Rose” in Horticulture & Home Pest News, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, at