West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Business

West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.

Education

West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.

Employment

West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.

Family

West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.

Health

Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.

Tourism

Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 Bloomin’ Wonderful Rhododendrons at many West Virginia state parks

7/9/2013
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia is still celebrating its 150th anniversary of statehood, so now is a good time to get acquainted with the state flower: Rhododendron maximum. It typically blooms at the end of June well into July. “Folks tend to confuse the spring bloom time of Rhododendron catawbiense with the state flower bloom time,” said Jon Teets, Superintendent at Audra State Park. Teets says “the” state flower is in bloom now in Barbour and Upshur counties, which includes Audra State Park.

Bryan Danford, Naturalist at Twin Falls State Park says the “blooms are getting ready to explode big-time” at this Wyoming County destination. Photographers travel to Twin Falls for a good opportunity to capture the pastel images. Other state parks in mountainous areas of the state with rhododendron blooms include the Bluestone Gorge area at Pipestem State Park, and at Camp CreekBlackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks. The overlook at Blackwater Falls Lodge is a focal area. Holly River also reports rhododendron blooms this week and expects a few more weeks of picturesque flowering. Watoga State Park indicates cabin and camping guest will have peak bloom the week of July 8 and a little longer According to “The Checklist and Atlas of the Vascular Flora of West Virginia,” there are seven rhododendrons listed in the Ericacea Family (heaths) that bloom in late June into July. Rhododendron maximum is the state flower. The more bold color of the Rhododendron catawbiense is the earlier blooming species at Hawks Nest and Babcock state parks in May into June.
 
A picnic or trip to a West Virginia state park in July can reward visitors with blooms of the state flower. State-operated parks and forests do not charge an entry fee. Hiking trails, picnic grounds, campground, and lakes for fishing are good outdoor excuses to visit. Parks with lodges and cabins are open year-round, many offering event, activity, or better-rate packages. Visit http://www.wvstateparks.com/ or call 800 CALL WVA and ask for a park by name.

About Rhododendron maximum
The Rhododendron maximum, often called the “great laurel,” is the state flower of West Virginia. It sometimes is a small tree up to 33 feet in height depending on location and growing conditions. The leaves are very thick and leathery, elliptical-oblong or lance-oblong and very smooth. It thrives in damp woods in most if not all of the counties in the state. The delicate pale pink or white bloom, mottled with either red or yellow flecks, is showy in the shadows of the forests and evergreen leaves of the plant. It is a shrub of the heath family. Rhododendron maximum was selected as the state flower on January 29, 1903, by a joint resolution of both houses of the West Virginia legislature, following a vote by pupils of the public schools.

Contact Information

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer
304-957-9365
hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov