As I write, I'm looking out my window at the ornamental crab trees in my yard. Their delicate blossoms have come and gone now with the last storm, but for awhile, with every little breeze, dozens of tiny white petals would drift like snowflakes, scattering in swirls across the lawn. It was mesmerizing. The mild, sweet fragrance of apple blossom, so similar to honeysuckle, attracts bees and keeps them busy, and toward summer's end hundreds of tiny apples, the size of cherries, will appear. This fruit is largely ornamental, nice for wreath-making, but it can also be used in preserves and jellies--something I haven't quite got around to testing yet. On their own crab apples taste quite sour, and I recall that discovery---biting into one; long ago when I was young and still climbing trees.
Although there are hundreds of varieties of apple trees today, I found it interesting that all of them originated in Europe from a single, wild crab apple species: Pyrus coronaria (now referred to as 'Malus coronaria'), before being cultivated around the world. Since apples grow best in cool, northern climates, they became an ideal crop for the state of Michigan, where early settlers began propagating them in abundance. Because of this reason, it must have seemed fitting to a Mr. William Harris of Norwood, to propose the adoption of the apple blossom as the best flower to represent the state. And so, on February 9, 1897, that's just what he did.
Now, initially, as I understand it, the wild crab apple species was selected, but later it was found not to be a 'native'. (Shocking news to some.) Because of this fact, legislation didn't specify any particular botanical name, but only refers to the generic "apple blossom" instead. And so, without further ado or apparent incident, it was officially and whole-heartedly adopted as the state flower on April 28, 1897.
COLORS: Most apple blossoms are white or pale shades of pink. When it comes to stitching something you want to appear white on a white background choose pastels. In some cases, black works. But for flowers I don't think that's the best option, it may be too stark in comparison to the other flower blocks--unless you are already using a lot of black. Here I used pinks--but yellow, lavender, soft violet, or gray blue, could be used to outline the petals and make them stand out.
Block Size: Images should be about 4 x 4-inches or so to fit a 6.5" block----re-size them if necessary.
For additional guidance, you can print out the PDF color and stitch guide here: