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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 featured forms.
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 The act that declared the Carnation as the state’s state flower was repealed by the 1923 act.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In 1931, another act was drawn up that repealed the 1923 act declaring the flower produced of the tulip tree as the state flower of Indiana.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 the Peony.
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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Tulip/Yellow Poplar

(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 uses.

Indiana's State Flower Project:

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.

Charles Deam, first State Forester
Flora of Indiana, 1940

What was being done to name the Fire Pink as Indiana's State Flower:

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

Wedding Florists in Indiana

Julie's Flowers of Geist - Indianapolis (317 5951026)
Julie's Flowers of Geist is Indianapolis' personal florist. We hand select all flowers and plants to bring to your home and loved ones the freshest and most beautiful bouquets around. Would you like to see someone smile? Let us show that special person how a personal florist can make your special occasions even more beautiful. Personal consultations are available for weddings, event planning and decorating, outdoor plantings, and custom silk arrangements. Call us today for more information on our services!



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