State Flowers, Tree, Birds, and State Nicknames USA

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State Flowers, Tree, Birds and State Nicknames USA
State Flowers, Tree, Birds and State Nicknames USA

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State Flowers, Tree, Birds, and State Nicknames USA

State Flowers, Tree, Birds and State Nicknames USA

State Flowers

For all states, the state flowers represent history, a symbol of time and tradition, of passion and work.

Dating back to the 1800s, states began to form their own personalities, identifying themselves with their own flags, state flowers, state trees, state birds, and even their own nicknames. Each state adopted things that every resident or tourist could identify with the state’s name, effectively branding the state and making it memorable for all.

Legislatures, residents, historians combed the world for the perfect flower to represent their state, but many states, such as California’s bursting red poppy, were able to find their perfect flowers in their own backyards.

In fact, two states found a state flower that isn’t a flower at all. Read on to learn about state flowers, and to find the two states that thought outside of the box.

State Flowers: Beauty, Bride, and History – Growing history

Before women were allowed to vote nationally, Washington State let them, and only them, vote on what people would come to associate with the state’s flower for decades to come: the coast rhododendron.

In 1892, the state was one of the last to officially name its state flower. After hundreds of suggestions were put through, more than 15,000 women across the state voted in a voting booth. And 53% of those women voted on the beautiful pink and white rhododendron.

That’s just one example of how state flowers have defined a state, represented its history, or even helped push forward a political movement. Because shortly thereafter, women across the country began rallying to get their voices heard about political climates outside of state gardens.

The purple lilac in New Hampshire is a representation of the state’s residents’ hardy character. The Bitterroot became Montana’s state flower only after a member of the Montana Women’s Christian Temperance Union crusaded to convince the legislature to listen up, and allow all people, men, and women, to vote for the flower.

California’s golden poppy is rooted in the state’s hillsides from north to south, a beautiful yellow flower that mimics the states seemingly everlasting sunshine.

Not exactly a flower, but…

Maine’s white pine cone and tassel is not a flower at all, but it was selected as the state’s flower in 1894 after officials saw the cone in a floral emblem at the World Fair.

The two large divisions in the plant species are flowering plants, angiosperms, or plants with cones, gymnosperms. All other states have flowers for their actual state flower, but Maine decided to be a little different. So technically, Maine has a state gymnosperm!

Oklahoma’s floral emblem, the Mistletoe, is not actually a flower either. But it is a flowering plant, which is close enough. Actually, Oklahoma is one of several states that have a state flower, a state wildflower, and a state emblem. For clarity’s sake, the list is the state’s official floral emblem. But most states don’t differentiate between the two.

Match your state to its state flower

  • Alabama: Camelia
  • Alaska: Forget-me-not
  • Arizona: Saguaro cactus blossom
  • Arkansas: Apple blossom
  • Colorado: Rocky Mountain Columbine
  • Connecticut: Mountain laurel
  • District of Columbia: American Beauty rose
  • Delaware: Peach blossom
  • Florida: Orange blossom
  • Georgia: Cherokee rose
  • Hawaii: Pua aloalo
  • Idaho: Syringa mock orange
  • Illinois: Purple violet
  • Indiana: Peony
  • Iowa: Wild prairie rose
  • Kansas: Sunflower
  • Kentucky: Goldenrod
  • Louisiana: Magnolia
  • Maine: Eastern white pine tassel and cone
  • Maryland: Black-eyed Susan
  • Massachusetts: Mayflower
  • Michigan: Apple blossom
  • Minnesota: Pink and white lady slipper
  • Mississippi: Magnolia
  • Missouri: Hawthorn
  • Montana: Bitterroot
  • Nebraska: Goldenrod
  • Nevada: Sagebrush
  • New Hampshire: Purple lilac
  • New Jersey: Violet
  • New Mexico: Yucca
  • New York: Rose
  • North Carolina: American Dogwood
  • North Dakota: Wild prairie rose
  • Northern Marianas: Plumeria
  • Ohio: Scarlet Carnation
  • Oklahoma: Mistletoe
  • Oregon: Oregon grape
  • Pennsylvania: Mountain laurel
  • Rhode Island: Violet
  • South Carolina: Yellow Jessamine
  • South Dakota: Pasque flower
  • Tennessee: Iris
  • Texas: Texas bluebonnet
  • Utah: Sego lily
  • Vermont: Red clover
  • Virginia: Flowering dogwood
  • Washington: Coast rhododendron
  • Wisconsin: Wood violet
  • Wyoming: Indian paintbrush

Unlike a lot of the state’s flowers, all but one of the state trees in the 50 states are indigenous to the state. But just like the flowers, each state tree is rooted in history.

 

State Trees: Rooted in local historystate trees

Treaties in the trees

Trees make up a large part of American history, from Christmas trees during the holidays, to the time-honored story of the treaty in the white oak. A great, white oak in Hartford, Connecticut, once hid in its hollowed bark the charter for the colony, to protect from those who wanted the rights of the colony to be given back to England.

Natural history

Tennessee’s Tulip Poplar grows from one end of the long state to the other. California’s Redwood forests are havens for botanical tourists, or even those just curious about the tallest trees in the country, big enough at the base to drive a truck through. Nebraska and Wyoming’s official state tree, the Cottonwood, blankets the ground every spring with tender, white fluffs of seeds. Delaware’s American Holly brightens up the holidays with its beautiful, red and green berry groupings.

Every state tree, except for Hawaii’s Kukui tree, was a staple in each state, thus leading to its adoption. A representation of the state’s pride and history, the state tree is a symbol of growth, power, stability, and sturdiness.

Popular State Trees

Texas was the first state to ever adopt a state tree, choosing the Pecan in 1919. Other states quickly followed, with Rhode Island being the last in 1964 with its Red Maple.

But the most popular state trees are the sugar maple and white oak; both trees were each adopted in four different states. The white oak is a fantastic source of hardwood for builders, but its sturdiness, beauty, and longevity have made it an easy choice for Iowa, Maryland, Connecticut, and Illinois.

Sap and sugar can be extracted from Sugar Maples, the state tree for West Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, and Vermont. Native Americans taught settlers how to extract the delicious sap, and to use it for flavoring and potash.

State Tree List

  • Alabama: Southern Longleaf Pine
  • Alaska: Sitka Spruce
  • Arizona: Palo Verdi
  • Arkansas: Pine
  • California: California Redwood
  • Colorado: Colorado Blue Spruce
  • Connecticut: White Oak
  • Delaware: American Holly
  • Florida: Sabal Palmetto Palm
  • Georgia: Live Oak
  • Hawaii: Kukui Tree
  • Idaho: White Pine
  • Illinois: White Oak
  • Indiana: Tulip Tree
  • Iowa: Oak
  • Kansas: Eastern Cottonwood
  • Kentucky: Tulip Poplar
  • Louisiana: Bald Cypress
  • Maine: White Pine
  • Maryland: White Oak
  • Massachusetts: American Elm
  • Michigan: White Pine
  • Minnesota: Red Pine
  • Mississippi: Magnolia
  • Missouri: Flowering Dogwood
  • Montana: Ponderosa Pine
  • Nebraska: Cottonwood

State Birds

State Birds

A beakful of history

The Blue Hen Chicken, with its brilliant autumn coloring and perfect, swirling tail, is known for its fighting ability and used in political campaigns as a symbol of strength. That’s why Delaware stepped outside of the box and designated the Blue Hen Chicken as its state bird.

All state birds are steeped in history, representing a state and its residents.

Oklahoma’s state bird is one worth watching, with its dipping and diving mating dance and it’s unique, scissor-tail. The state birds’ fly dance is a sight to see, and something that people drive through the state to watch.

Some states not only have official state birds, but also official game birds. Alabama’s official state bird, for example, is the yellow-hammer. But it’s a game bird is the wild turkey. Georgia has both too: the official state bird is the Brown Thrasher, and the official game bird is the Bobwhite Quail. Mississippi has an official waterfowl, the Wood Duck. And Idaho has an official state raptor, the Peregrine falcon.

For clarity, all birds on the state birds list below are official state birds only.

The Coolest of All the State Birds

With its medley of beautiful songs, the mockingbird has become one of the most popular state birds. In fact, five states have taken on the charming mockingbird as their state bird.

A mockingbird actually mimics songs from other species, repeating the songs at least three times before moving on to another. Most mockingbirds have a medley of up to 30 different bird songs!

But that beautiful bird isn’t the most popular. Seven states have adopted the red cardinal, a bird that’s imitated and replicated throughout sports history.

State Birds List

  • Alabama: Yellow-hammer
  • Alaska: Alaska Willow Ptarmigan
  • Arizona: Coues’ Cactus Wren
  • Arkansas: Mockingbird
  • California: California Valley Quail
  • Colorado: Lark Bunting
  • Connecticut: American Robin
  • Delaware: Blue Hen Chicken
  • Florida: Mockingbird
  • Georgia: Brown Thrasher
  • Hawaii: Nene (Hawaiian Goose)
  • Idaho: Mountain Bluebird
  • Illinois: Cardinal
  • Indiana: Cardinal
  • Iowa: Eastern Goldfinch
  • Kansas: Western Meadowlark
  • Kentucky: Cardinal
  • Louisiana: Brown Pelican
  • Maine: Chickadee
  • Maryland: Baltimore Oriole
  • Massachusetts: Chickadee
  • Michigan: Robin Red Breast
  • Minnesota: Common Loon
  • Mississippi: Mockingbird
  • Missouri: Bluebird
  • Montana: Western Meadowlark
  • Nebraska: Western Meadowlark
  • Nevada: Mountain Bluebird
  • New Hampshire: Purple Finch
  • New Jersey: Eastern Goldfinch
  • New Mexico: Chaparral Bird (Roadrunner)
  • New York: Bluebird
  • North Carolina: Cardinal
  • North Dakota: Western Meadowlark
  • Ohio: Cardinal
  • Oklahoma: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • Oregon: Western Meadowlark
  • Rhode Island: Rhode Island Red
  • South Carolina: Carolina Wren
  • South Dakota: Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Tennessee: Mockingbird
  • Texas: Mockingbird
  • Utah: California Gull
  • Vermont: Hermit Thrush
  • Virginia: Cardinal
  • Washington: Willow Goldfinch
  • West Virginia: Cardinal
  • Washington Willow Goldfinch
  • West Virginia: Cardinal
  • Wisconsin: Robin
  • Wyoming: Western Meadowlark

State Nicknames

Nicknames states

One State, so many Names

It’s true. Some people get a little carried away with nicknames. But so do state officials and residents, apparently. Almost all states have at least four nicknames, with Arizona racking in seven! But a couple of states have stuck with only a few nicknames, and Iowa has only one. Not all states have official nicknames, and many change them as the image of the state changes and grows. Below, you’ll find the two most common nicknames for states. Some are marked “official,” because those names were officially adopted by the state.

Alabama

    • The Heart of Dixie
    • The Yellowhammer State

Alaska

    • The Last Frontier
    • The Land of the Midnight Sun

Arizona

    • The Grand Canyon State
    • The Copper State

Arkansas

    • Official: The Natural State
    • Other: The Land of Opportunity

California

    • Official: The Golden State
    • Other: The Land of Milk and Honey

Colorado

    • The Centennial State
    • The Silver State

Connecticut

    • Official: The Constitution State
    • Other: The Nutmeg State

Delaware

    • Official: The First State
    • Other: The Diamond State

Florida

    • The Sunshine State
    • The Alligator State

Georgia

    • The Empire State of the South
    • The Peach State

Hawaii

    • Official: The Aloha State
    • Other: The Pineapple State

Idaho

    • The Gem State
    • Gem of the Mountains

Illinois

    • The Prairie State
    • Land of Lincoln

Indiana

    • Crossroads of America
    • The Hoosier State

Iowa

    • The Hawkeye State

Kansas

    • The Sunflower State
    • The Jayhawk State

Kentucky

    • The Bluegrass State
    • The Hemp State

Louisiana

    • The Pelican State
    • The Bayou State

Maine

    • The Pine Tree State
    • The Lumber State

Maryland

    • The Old Line State
    • The Free State

Massachusetts

    • The Bay State
    • The Old Colony State

Michigan

    • The Wolverine State
    • The Great Lakes State

Minnesota

    • The North Star State
    • The Gopher State

Mississippi

    • The Magnolia State
    • The Eagle State

Missouri

    • The Show Me State
    • The Bullion State

Montana

    • The Treasure State
    • Big Sky Country

Nebraska

    • Official: The Cornhusker State
    • Other: Home of Arbor Day

Nevada

    • The Silver State
    • The Sagebrush State

New Hampshire

    • The Granite State
    • The White Mountain State

New Jersey

    • The Garden State
    • The Clam State

New Mexico

    • Official: Land of Enchantment
    • Other: The Cactus State

New York

    • The Empire State
    • The Excelsior State

North Carolina

    • The Tar Heel State
    • The Old North State

North Dakota

    • Official: The Peace Garden State
    • Other: The Sioux State

Ohio

    • Official: The Buckeye State
    • Other: Mother of Modern Presidents

Oklahoma

    • The Sooner State
    • Boomer’s Paradise

Oregon

    • The Beaver State
    • The Web-foot State

Rhode Island

    • Official: The Ocean State
    • Other: Little Rhody

South Carolina

    • The Palmetto State
    • The Rice State

South Dakota

    • Official: The Mount Rushmore State
    • Other: The Sunshine State

Tennessee

    • Volunteer State
    • The Big Bend State

Texas

    • The Lone Star State
    • The Beef State

Utah

    • The Beehive State
    • The Mormon State

Vermont

    • The Green Mountain State

Virginia

    • Old Dominion
    • Mother of Presidents

Washington

    • Official: The Evergreen State
    • The Chinook State

West Virginia

    • The Mountain State
    • Switzerland of America

Wisconsin

    • The Badger State
    • The Copper State

 Wyoming

      • The Equality State
      • Big Wyoming

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