Thanks for the snowball scarf love, it's snug around my neck as we speak. Winter is truly here in the northwest and "baby, it's cold outside", (as the song goes). From the window I'm looking at a lovely wintery scene; frosted towering pines surrounded by a misty fog, but I'm thankful I don't need to go out there just now with the temperature hovering at just 26 degrees. I know there are places colder and much more harsh, but for this native California beach girl, it's bone chilling. With that in mind...let's visit the flowers of dreamy summer days shall we? That's where I drift while I'm stitching these little beauties anyway, and here's the next in the series of State Flowers: I give you the wild Prarie Rose of Iowa.
Despite Iowa's dry, flat landscape the delicate-looking little prairie rose emerges year after year. To early European settlers it symbolized 'resilience'. Lawmakers also recognized it as a hardy survivor and thought it represented the state so well that its picture was etched on a silver tea service that was presented to the crew of the USS Iowa in 1896. When the subject of choosing a state flower came up, advice was sought from the Federation of Women's Clubs in Dubuque, and everyone agreed that the attributes of the wild prairie rose fit perfectly--and on May 6, 1897 it was so designated by the state legislature.
A native species, Rosa pratincola (aka rosa arkansansa), is the most often cited, but other varieties were also recognized officially, because due to the nature of the wild rose, in that it hybrizes naturally, it was difficult to distinguish one from the other. So it was decided that any species of wild rose within the state boundaries would qualify and that agreement still stands. Wild roses are found throughout the state, in meadows, prairies, and open woodlands; some varieties preferring specific locations. Flower colors range from pale pink to dark pink with a yellow center fringed with long stamens. Mildy fragrant blossoms appear on shrubs from June to late summer, reaching a height of three to four feet, and produce a small red, apple-shaped "hip" when blooms fade in the fall.
These same rose hips help sustain the Indians and Pioneers when food was scarce. In fact, the leaves and flowers are also edible. Just three hips contain the same amount of vitamin C as one orange; and boiled with honey or sugar produces a highly nutricious syrup or sweet jelly. Hips also provide a valuable food source for wildlife--which helps to propigate it naturally. And there you have it!
NOTES: Images should be 4 x 4 to fit a 6.5" quilt block. This allows for a 1/4" seam allowance and a finished block measuring 6 x 6. Click on image to open for download. (If anyone is having trouble getting the right size block due to changes on Flickr; click on the pattern image to open flickr--for size options select the ACTIONS tab; select VIEW ALL SIZES from the drop-down menu; select MEDIUM 640 (640 x 556) for the 6-inch block size; now print or save to a file.)
If you are visiting my blog for the first time, and/or just starting this project--you can download the original stitch guide and color chart here as a PDF for a quick reference: