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Indiana State Flower


Indiana State Flower - Peony


Adopted on March 15, 1957.

The peony, (Paeonia,) was adopted as the state flower by the 1957 General Assembly (Indiana Code 1-2-7).

Poets linked Indiana with the (first flower) blossom of the tulip tree, or yellow poplar, as early as 1870. But the (second flower) carnation was adopted as Indiana's state flower on March 15, 1913.

Indiana State Flower - Peony

From 1931 to 1957 the (third flower)zinnia was the state flower. In 1957, a bill to adopt the blossom of the tulip tree was submitted. But the Senate substitute the dogwood blossom! Interestingly enough, the Representative who proposed the Peony as state flower was a commercial peony grower in his full time employment.

Indiana State Flower: Peony

On March 15, 1957, the peony became Indiana's fourth state flower! The peony blooms the last of May and early June in various shades of red and pink and also in white; it occurs in single and double forms. No particular variety or color was designated by the General Assembly. It is cultivated widely throughout the state and is extremely popular for decorating gravesites for Memorial Day. It blooms from late May until early June. It grows in various shades of red, pink, and white blooms from late May until early June. It grows in various shades of red, pink, and white.

The peony is a flowering plant in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, Southern Europe and Western North America. Boundaries between species are not clear and estimates of the number of species range from 25 to 40.

Most are herbaceous perennial plants 1.6 - 4.9 feet tall, but some resemble trees 4.9 - 9.8 feet tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant, flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer.

Herbaceous (P. lactiflora)

Indiana State Flower - Peony

Most peonies available in garden centers or nurseries are hybrids of two major classes--herbaceous peonies or tree peonies. Just what are their primary differences?

They are mostly natives to Asia Minor and Europe. Almost all herbaceous peonies are descendants of a Chinese species known as P. lactiflora. These hybrids reach 2 to 3 feet in height, having dark green divided leaves that are shiny and very showy. Peony foliage is bold and striking, even in the fall when it usually embraces the reddish colors of autumn.

Herbaceous peonies typically bloom in late spring, boasting exotic 3 to 6 inch heavily scented blossoms. The blossoms are ordinarily very fragrant and may be single, double or anemone form (with broad, outer petals and a pincushion-like mound of central petals or flowers - modified stamens). Herbaceous peonies thrive in USDA Zones 3 to 8, and bloom profusely after a period of cold winter chill.

Tree Peony (P. suffruticosa)

These are cultivars of P. suffruticosa and are natives to Japan and China. and descendants of P. suffruticosa, a Chinese shrub. This variety is an open, somewhat woody deciduous shrub that can reach 6 feet in height. As with herbaceous peonies, tree peonies are long-lived and resent being transplanted, so you should choose their locations with care. Tree peonies are also more hardy to cold than their herbaceous relatives. The blossoms of tree peonies vary both in size and color, depending on their individual variety. P. suffruticosa is the main Tree Peony. It bears large, single or double white flowers blotched with crimson in May and June.

Indiana Code

The law designating the peony as the official Indiana state flower is found in Indiana Code, Title 1, Article 2, Chapter 7, Section 1-2-7.

Indiana Code: IC 1-2-7
Chapter 7. State Flower and Tree
IC 1-2-7-1
Sec. 1. The tulip tree (liriodendron tulipifera) is hereby adopted and designated as the official state tree, and the flower of the peony (Paeonie) is hereby adopted and designated as the official state flower of the state of Indiana.
(Formerly: Acts 1931, c.48, s.1; Acts 1957, c.283, s.1.)

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Peony

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
    Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Dilleniales
Family: Paeoniaceae - Peony family
Genus: Paeonia L. - peony  


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