January 30, 1901
Love Barton, head of the Searcy (White County) chapter of the Arkansas Floral Emblem Society, took a bushel of polished Arkansas apples to the floor of the Senate as part of her lobbying campaign for the adoption of the apple blossom, Malus (Pyrus) coronaria, as the state’s official flower. Two days later, Governor Jeff Davis signed a resolution to that effect. The apple blossom remains the state’s floral emblem despite the apple’s decline in importance to Arkansas. Arkansas’s 900 acres of orchards shipped about 3.4 million pounds of apples in 2002, down from nearly 15 million pounds in 1985. Popular sentiment still favors the apple: in Lincoln County, the annual Apple Festival pays tribute to the fruit.