Fun Facts About Tennessee’s State Plants and Animals

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iris, flowers, Ellington Agricultural Center, Nashville, TN

True Tennessee trivia buffs know that the state flower is the purple iris – but did you know it’s held that honor since 1933?

The state Legislature made the designation official, and, while there are several colors associated with the species, the purple iris is commonly accepted as Tennessee’s floral favorite.

As for the state tree, the tulip poplar earned that distinction from the Legislature in 1947 because poplar wood was used extensively by 18th- and 19th-century Tennessee pioneers to construct their houses and barns.

By the way, the Tennessee state wild animal is the raccoon, the state reptile is the box turtle, and the state amphibian is the Tennessee cave salamander. Tennessee also has not one but two state insects: the ladybug and the firefly.

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