Michigan State Wild Flower: The Dwarf Lake iris In 1996, the Michigan Wildflower Association sponsored an informal wildflower preference poll through newspapers throughout the state. The Association invited citizens to vote for one of six native plants for nomination as the state’s official wildflower. The large-flowered white trillium garnered 1,733 votes to secure first place in the poll. The dwarf lake iris came in second with 1,479 votes.
While the large-flowered white trillium grows throughout eastern North America, the dwarf lake iris grows only in the Great Lakes area and most of the world’s population of this iris is found within the borders of Michigan. The dwarf lake iris is considered threatened on the state and federal levels.
Interestingly, on June 12, 1997, House Bill No. 4923 was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives. It proposed that the second-place dwarf lake iris be declared the state wildflower.
Michigan State Stone: The Petoskey Stone The Petoskey Stone is actually a fossilized coral (Hexagonaria pericarnata) from a coral reef that existed in the northern Lower Peninsula during the Devonian era, 350 million years ago. The Petoskey Stone was adopted as the state stone by Public Act 89 of 1965.
Michigan State Mammal: The White-tailed Deer Michigan designated the white-tailed deer as official state game animal in 1997. Zeeland fourth-graders campaigned to include the white-tailed deer among Michigan’s official state symbols.
Michigan State Reptile: The Painted Turtle The painted turtle was designated the official state reptile of Michigan in 1995. The painted turtle is the only turtle still commonly found in Michigan (of the nine or ten native species that live in the state).
Michigan State Tree: The Eastern White Pine The Eastern White pine tree was designated the official state tree of Michigan in 1955.
Michigan State Gem Stone: The Isle Royal Greenstone Chlorastrolite was named the “Official State Gem” of Michigan by the Seventy-Sixth Legislature (Act 56, PA 1972, effective March 30, 1973).
QUICK MICHIGAN FACTS:*The name Michigan is derived from the Indian words “Michi-gama” meaning large lake. *The State Nickname is the “Great Lake State.” Others include “Wolverine State” or “Water Winter Wonderland.” *The State motto is “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice.” (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.) *Michigan was admitted to the Union in 1837, the 26th state. Michigan includes: 57,022 sq. mi. of land area (16,439 sq. mi. in the U.P.) 1,194 sq. mi. of inland waters 38,575 sq. mi. of Great Lake water area 3,126 miles of Great Lakes shoreline (more fresh water coastline than any other state) 19,000,000 acres of forest cover The population is 9,328,784 (1990 Census). 9,488,000 est. 1/1/93 (98 per sq. mi.). The capital is Lansing (1847). The largest city is Detroit. The State Trunkline System totals 9,607 miles. All are toll free. Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes. 40 of Michigan’s 83 counties touch at least one of the Great Lakes. *Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams. *You are never more than six miles from one of them. *Anywhere in Michigan, you are within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes