Indiana Flowers and Tress
Controversial Indigenous Flowers of Indiana
There are numerous indigenous species of beautiful and
attractive flora found in the regions of Indiana. The state flower of
Indiana since 1931 is the flower Zinnia but Peony in 1957 snatched this
title. During this year, a law was passed by the Indiana General
Assembly proclaiming the Peony as Indiana’s State Flower.
Peonies however, are not indigenous flowers Indiana. These flowers are
considered of Chinese origin. They are grown by many as ornamental
plants due to their scented blossoms and large showy flowers.
The Peony, a non-native plant found in Indiana still reigns as the state
flower of the state up to this date. This particular flower blooms late
of May and during the early days of June. Peonies are usually found in
the shades of white, red and pink occurring in single and double
The General Assembly made the declaration of Peony being the State
Flower of Indiana without designating its color or variety. Today,
Peonies are widely cultivated throughout the entire state of Indiana.
Peony blossoms are extremely popular during Memorial Day events as
decorations for gravesites.
The state of Indiana had three different flowers as its state flower
before it finally became the Peony that it is now. From 1919 up to the
year 1923, the state flower of Indiana was the flower “Carnation”. The
act that declared the Carnation as the state’s state flower was repealed
by the 1923 act. This particular act on that particular year designated
and proclaimed the blossoms of the tulip tree as Indiana’s state flower.
In 1931, another act was drawn up that repealed the 1923 act declaring
the flower produced of the tulip tree as the state flower of Indiana.
The flower Zinnia was the one that replaced the tulip tree’s flower as
the state flower of the state. However, Zinnia’s reign as the State
Flower of Indiana was cut short by another act drawn up by the General
Assembly of Indiana in 1957. Up to now, the state flower of Indiana is
With the controversy that evolves around the state flower issue, Peony
still remains to be the state flower of Indiana. There are appeals made
by institutions aiming to replace the current state flower of the state.
There’s an ongoing project which is the “Indiana’s State Flower Project”
that aims to make a change.
The movement believes that the flora of Indiana is rich and abundant
with numerous indigenous species. There are questions raised to make the
people of Indiana aware of the abundance of native flowers found in the
state of Indiana. Letting the people know that there will be plenty of
native flowers to choose from to be named as the state flower of the
region, not some flower of other countries.
One of Indiana’s indigenous flowers supported to replace Peony as the
state flower is Fire Pink, scientifically known as the Silene virginica.
Flowers of Fire Pink are made up of five, star-like petals that are
brilliant red in color. The flower is supported by two-foot stems that
bloom early in the summer days. Fire Pinks are commonly found all
throughout the state of Indiana.
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(Magnoliaceae Liriodendron tulipifera)
Adopted in 1931.
The tulip tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera), known also as yellow poplar, was
adopted by the 1931 General Assembly (Indiana Code 1-2-7). It attains great
height and can be found throughout the state. The leaf is distinctive (it
appears in the border of the state seal), and the lovely bell-shaped
greenish-yellow flowers appear in May or June. The soft white wood has many
Indiana's State Flower
Fire Pink (Silene virginica)
The Indiana flora
is rich in the number of native species that are attractive and beautiful.
Out of our abundance of native flowers we should be able to select one for
our state flower. Why advertise some foreign country and our ignorance of
our native plants? I appeal to readers to take a pride in our state and in
our native plants.
first State Forester
Flora of Indiana,
What was being done to name the Fire Pink as Indiana's State
Two bills were filed in the legislature to change Indiana's state flower from
the peony to the fire pink. Senator Robert Jackman was sponsoring one bill in
the Senate, and Representative Sheila Klinker was sponsoring the other in the
House. . . . . . . . .
Let's show our Hoosier pride and change the state flower from the Chinese peony
to a plant that is native to Indiana. Encourage your state legislators to name
Fire Pink as our state flower. This beautiul native wildflower, found
state-wide, represents our Indiana history and our natural heritage.
Please contact your state legislators at the
Indiana General Assembly website
Photo of Fire Pink by Rolland Kontak
For more information contact Carolyn Harstad
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