Alaska State Flower: Forget Me Not

Alaska Marine Highway

Alaska's State Flower is the "Forget-Me-Not. Forget me not flowers are very fragrant in the evening and night time, though there is little or no scent in the daytime. They can be annual or perennial plants. Their seeds are found in small, tulip shaped pods along the stem to the flower.

Alaska's state flower is the wild forget-me-not. Alaska's official State flower & floral emblem was a popular representative of the Alaska Territory years before Alaska entered the Union.

The story starts almost 100 years ago at around the turn of the century and shortly after the population boom caused by the discovery of gold in Alaska and the Klondike gold rush. In 1907, a group of men got together and formed a lodge  limited to men who had arrived in Alaska before January 1, 1900. This organization was called the "Pioneers of Alaska." In 1908, the "Pioneers of Alaska" merged with two other lodges to form the "Grand Igloo."

It was in the constitution of the Grand Igloo that the forget-me-not began its journey to become the official state flower and floral emblem of Alaska. A clause in the constitution declared, "The official flower of the Pioneers of Alaska shall be the Alaska For-get-me-not."As the population of Alaska continued to grow, women became involved with organizations such as the Grand Igloo by forming Auxiliaries. They too adopted the forget-me-not as their official emblem.

Territorial status loomed in Alaska's future and it occurred to the members of the Grand Igloo and the Women's Auxiliaries that the forget-me-not would make a most appropriate floral emblem for the new Alaska Territory. In 1912, the United States Congress passed a second Organic Act authorizing Alaska to form a territorial government with limited powers.

The Legislature of the Alaska Territory met for the first time in 1913.Four years later the bill proposing that the forget-me-not be declared the official floral emblem of the Territory was introduced supported by the following poem written by Esther Birdsall Darling:

"So in thinking for an emblem For this Empire of the North We will choose this azure flower That the golden days bring forth, For we want men to remember That Alaska came to stay Though she slept unknown for ages And awakened in a day. So although they say we’re living In the land that God forgot, We’ll recall Alaska to them With our blue Forget-me-not. "

The Territorial Legislature approved the forget-me-not as the official floral emblem of the Alaska Territory and the Governor signed the legislation into law on April 28, 1917. The following was found written in the margin of the bill.:

"A little flower blossoms forth On every hill and dale, The emblem of the Pioneers Upon the rugged trail; The Pioneers have asked it And we could deny them not; So the emblem of Alaska Is the blue Forget-me-not."

Ten years later, in 1927, Benny Benson paid tribute to the forget-me not with his winning flag design. The blue field of Benny Benson's flag, adopted by the Alaska Legislature, represented the sky and the blue forget-me-not flower. He is quoted, "The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaskan flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear - symbolizing strength."In 1959, when Alaska was granted entry to the Union, the forget-me-not was adopted as the official State flower and floral emblem of the 49th state.

Alaska's state flower, the wild native Alpine forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris), grows well throughout Alaska in open, rocky places high in the mountains. You will see the diminutive alpine forget-me-not in midsummer, and perhaps one of several other varieties in Alaska (such as mountain and splendid forget-me-nots). Alpine Forget-me-nots belong to one of the few plant families that display true blue flowers.


alaska state flower the wild forget-me-not

artic forget me not flower growing wild in Alaska

Alaska Symbols:

Check out Alaska's sate symbols including their gem, flower, and bird.

Learn more about Alaska's symbols

Tree Flower Bird
Mammal Marine Fish
Insect Mineral Gem