Indiana is a US state located in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of North America. The state covers an area of 36,418 square miles and had a population of 6,666,818 in 2017. Indiana has numerous official state symbols, including a state bird (cardinal), state insect (Say's firefly), and state tree (tulip tree). Additionally, the official state flower of Indiana is the peony, adopted in 1957.
Indiana's State Flower
Indiana has had numerous state flowers throughout its history. Former state flowers include the carnation, the flower of the tulip tree, and the zinia. After a number of proposed flowers and considerable debate, the peony was selected as Indiana's state flower in 1957 by the Indiana General Assembly through Indiana Code 1-2-7.
Indiana is one of the few US states to select flowers that are not native to the region. For example, the peony is not native to Indiana, but its selection is believed to have been encouraged by House Representative Laurence Baker, who owned commercial peony farms in Corydon, Bloomington, and Kendallville.
The peony is a plant that belongs to the Paeonia genus and is characterized by green foliage and large flowers that can take various colors. Standard colors include pink, white, and red, although some hybrid plants have been observed to contain yellow flowers. However, the legislation failed to specify a particular color to serve as a symbol of the state of Indiana. The flowers contain five petals, can have single and double forms, and produces a strong and pleasant fragrance. The peony grows in well-drained soil with full sunlight or partial shade. The flower typically blooms between May and June, and has been known to bloom for as many as 50 years.
The peony has been used in traditional medicine in parts of Asia and has been used to make teas. The plant is also grown as a garden plant and is a popular ornamental flower.