State Flowers Trampled by Global Warming

The common blue meadow violet could soon be pushing up the daisies if climate change doesn't relax its stranglehold on the New Jersey state flower, according to a report by the National Wildlife Federation.

As winter temperatures in the Northeast United States rise by an estimated 4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100—with a summer-heat-index leap of as much as 10 degrees—wildflowers like the violet, as well as other native plant and animal species could be forced to shift their home ranges northward and towards higher elevations, says Patty Glick, author of report, "A Gardener's Guide to Global Warming." Others, she notes, could die off altogether.The Garden State won't be the only one mourning the loss of its state flower—18 others are also threatened, including Mississippi's magnolia, Nevada's sagebrush, and Maryland's black-eyed Susan. The official tree of Washington, D.C. and 17 states are also in the red zone.

"I'm not an expert on violets," says Lena Struwe, a botanist and the director of the Chrysler Herbarium at Rutgers University. "But personally, I worry less about the state flower of New Jersey, and maybe, that we might not be able to produce food, because of the change in the forests, the coastlands and wetlands." :: NorthJersey.com and :: NWF

See also: :: Melancholy Arbor Days to Come

Tags: Biodiversity | Conservation | New Jersey