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What is Tennessee’s wildflower?

Tennessee Blooms with Pride: The Passionate Purple Iris

The state of Tennessee is not only renowned for its rich musical heritage and scenic beauty but also for its diverse flora. Among the array of botanical treasures, the Purple Iris stands out as the state’s official wildflower, a title it has held with pride since 1973.

Symbol of Tennessee’s Natural Beauty

The Purple Iris, scientifically known as Iris germanica, is a perennial plant that graces the Tennessee landscape with its vibrant purple blossoms each spring. Its selection as the state wildflower was no mere happenstance; the iris symbolizes several aspects of the Volunteer State’s spirit. The flower’s three upright petals, or “standards,” are said to represent faith, valor, and wisdom—qualities that resonate with Tennessee’s history and culture.

A Floral Emblem for All Tennesseans

The choice of the iris also reflects the state’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. The flower’s resilience and ability to thrive in various environments make it a fitting emblem for Tennessee’s diverse ecosystems, from the Mississippi River plains to the Great Smoky Mountains.


Q: When was the Purple Iris designated as Tennessee’s state wildflower?
A: The Purple Iris was designated as Tennessee’s state wildflower in 1973.

Q: What does the Purple Iris symbolize?
A: The Purple Iris symbolizes faith, valor, and wisdom, qualities that are significant to Tennessee’s heritage.


Perennial plant: A plant that lives for more than two years, typically flowering annually after its first maturation.
Flora: The plants of a particular region, habitat, or geological period.
Wildflower: A flower that grows in natural places without intentional seeding or planting by humans.

By Daniel Hall

Daniel Hall is a noted author and researcher with a focus on energy efficiency and smart city technologies in the United States. His work explores the integration of innovative energy solutions into urban infrastructure, emphasizing the role of technology in enhancing sustainability and resilience in American cities. Hall's analysis of how smart grids, renewable energy sources, and energy-efficient technologies can transform urban living is both comprehensive and forward-looking. His contributions are highly regarded for shedding light on the path towards more sustainable and technologically advanced urban environments.