Every state has its specific license plate. Every state also has its own state flag and state flower. Many states have other state symbols as well. These symbols describe various elements of the state. Do you know the state symbols of Minnesota? The following descriptions are excerpts from a pamphlet called “Minnesota Fun Facts.”
The common loon is Minnesota’s state bird. Its name comes from a Norwegian word that means “wild, sad cry.” Loons are black and white birds with red eyes and long black bills. Thousands of loons make their home in central and northern Minnesota. (Some people think the mosquito would have been a better choice for the state bird!)
The pink and white lady’s slipper is Minnesota’s state flower. It is one of Minnesota’s rarest wildflowers. Lady’s slippers thrive in swamps, bogs, and damp woods. They grow slowly, taking four to sixteen years to produce their first flower. Sometimes they live for 50 years and grow four feet tall. They bloom in late June or early July. Since 1925, this flower has been protected by state law. It is illegal to pick the pink and white lady’s slipper.
The Norway pine is Minnesota’s state tree. It is also known as the red pine because of its reddish-brown bark. It is a huge tree! Many grow 60 to 100 feet tall with a three- to five-feet-wide trunk. These trees are popular for Christmas trees when they are small.