|Indiana’s first state forester Charles Deam, for whom the Deam Herbarium is named at IU Bloomington, didn’t mince words in his 1940 Flora of Indiana: “The Indiana flora is rich in the number of native species that are attractive and beautiful. Out of our abundance of native flowers we should be able to select one for our state flower. Why advertise some foreign country and our ignorance of our native plants? I appeal to readers to take a pride in our state and in our native plants.”
Enter the fire pink (Silene virginica), one of the state’s 2,000 species of native flowering plants. Fire pink came out the winning choice as an alternative to replace the peony as the state flower in a 1996 survey of Hoosier fourth-graders. It’s an issue that continues to catch fire. We here at the Home Pages vote for the snowflower.