January 30, 1901
The Arkansas General Assembly approved the resolution that made the apple blossom—Malus (Pyrus) coronaria—Arkansas’s official flower. Arkansas was the second state to adopt the bloom (Michigan was the first). The apple blossom remains the state’s floral emblem despite the apple’s decline in importance in Arkansas. In 2003, Arkansas ranked thirty-second in the nation in apple production. Arkansas’s 900 acres of orchards shipped about 3.4 million pounds of apples in 2002, down from nearly 15 million pounds in 1985. Ninety-five percent of Arkansas’s commodity apples are destined for fresh-market sales; the rest are sold for processing. Despite its diminished economic significance, popular sentiment still favors the apple: in Lincoln County, the annual Apple Festival pays tribute to the fruit.