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Official US State Symbols
North Carolina Symbols
Beverage, Bird, Blue Berry, Carnivorous Plant, Colors, Dog, Flag, Flower, Folk Dance, Freshwater Trout, Fruit, Historical Boat, Insect, International Festival, Language, Mammal, Military Academy, Motto, Northeastern Watermelon Festival, Popular Dance, Precious Stone, Red Berry, Reptile and Emblem, Rock, Salt Water Fish, Seal, Shell, Song, Southeastern Watermelon Festival, Tartan, Toast, Tree, Vegetables, Wildflower
North Carolina State Wildflower
Adopted in 2003.
In 2003, the General Assembly designated the Carolina Lily, Lilium michauxii, as the official State wildflower (Session Laws, 2003, c. 426).
Named for Andre Michaux, a noted eighteenth century naturalist and explorer, this flower grows throughout the state, from the forests and hills of Cherokee County to the coastal swamplands (pocosins) of Hyde and Pamlico counties.
The Carolina Lily is a scarce and exciting flower that can be found in dry woods in July and August. It has one to six blossoms at the summit of its stem. This magnificent flower is yellow to reddish-orange, spotted with brown. The six tepals (3 petals and 3 sepals)
are strongly reflexed (bent back), and six slender filaments topped by brown anthers protrude from the center of the flower, as does a long style with a three-lobed stigma. Each nodding flower is about three inches in diameter. The stem can grow up to 4 feet high, and can have up to 6 flowers at the summit, though 1-3 are more common. The petals are brilliant red-orange with brown spots, and arched back so that the tips overlap.
The lily comes from a scaly bulb and can be propagated by scale division or by seed. It is an attractive plant and worthy of cultivation. Plant in a well-prepared soil with plenty of organic matter worked into it. Several hours a day of sunlight are necessary for blooms.
Life Cycle: Perennial
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