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Congress Calls on Pacific Horticulture

Articles: Congress Calls on Pacific Horticulture

A poster for the now-defunct American Marigold Society, showing the diversity of flower types, with African marigolds (top), French marigolds (middle), and single-flowered Signet marigolds (bottom center). Artist unknown; reproduced by permission Elizabeth Christensen

This one has to be filed under “K” for “knock me down with a feather.” I was sitting in my office as usual, glued to my computer, when I opened an email  from Pacific Horticulture. The office of Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois was looking for me. His assistant, Gregory Tosi, had read my article about the marigold in California and wanted to ask me a couple of questions.

The senator is introducing a bill into Congress to make the marigold the emblem both of the House and the Senate. In this way he is resurrecting a long forgotten project of his predecessor Senator Everett Dirksen, he of the gravelly voice. I quote: “Since when has making a profit been un-American” is one of his aphorisms. Mark Kirk sits in the “Dirksen chair” and one of Dirksen’s constituents had asked him to name the marigold our national flower. Because that place is occupied ...

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