On This Date In Twin Cities History - February 19, 1902

Minneapolis Tribune - February 19, 1902

On this date in 1902, the Minnesota State Legislature adopts the Showy Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium reginae) as the state flower.

This was not Minnesota’s first state flower however. In 1893, Minnesota Senator W. B. Dean sponsored a resolution naming the wild Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium calceolus) the official state flower. It was passed by the legislature on February 3rd of that year. However, controversy ensued when members of the Saint Anthony Study Circle of Minneapolis announced that the wild Lady’s Slipper Orchid was not even native to Minnesota.

On February 19, 1902, the Minneapolis Tribune reported ‘State Flower Called “Fake” ‘. Embarrassed by the publicity, the Minnesota State Legislature quickly moved to correct the situation adopting the Showy Lady’s Slipper as the official flower of the State of Minnesota.

In 1925, a state law was passed making it illegal to buy or sell the state flower.

Image: Minneapolis Tribune – February 19, 1902