Michaela Petit Flower
Clears First Hurdle
May 21, 2015 by Special To The ...
A proposal to establish Michaela Petit’s
Four O’Clock as the Connecticut children’s state
flower passed the House unanimously Wednesday, nearly eight years after the
11-year-old Cheshire resident lost her life in a tragic home invasion.
The legislation, introduced in January and supported by
members of the Cheshire Hartford Delegation, including State Representative Al Adinolfi (R-103) who pushed hard for the initiative, will
head to the Senate for approval.
“Unfortunately, a heinous crime rocked our tight-knit
community, sending lasting ripple effects across the country. But we will not
let evil win and we will not allow the bad guys have their place in our state
history. We want to honor an innocent girl who had a bright future – and
we want to honor her through a type of flower she loved,” Adinolfi
The Four O’Clock, or Mirabilis jalapa, was chosen because of its role in the Cheshire home
invasion: like the phoenix rising from the ashes, the flower Michaela used to
plant with her father poked its petals out of the burned-down, scorched house
remains after the tragedy. The Petit Family Foundation sells the seeds to fund
a scholarship for girls.
Michaela’s father, Dr. William Petit, submitted written
testimony in February thanking Adinolfi and his
colleagues for taking up a cause for Michaela.
“Naming a State Children’s Flower tells kids that they can have a voice and empowers them to go forward and help others,” Dr. Petit said. “In addition, it is an easy flower to grow from seed and requires little maintenance so that even the youngest child can participate. It teaches children about the outdoors, gardening and beauty in a very simple way: Horticulture, agronomy, ecology and the environment all are related to STEM fields. We need more children with an interest in these areas, especially young girls.”