Old North State Symbols #7 – The State Butterfly

In 2012, the State Legislature designated the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus) as the official butterfly of North Carolina. It is believed that artist and mapmaker John White, governor of Roanoke Island (the “Lost Colony”), was the first to draw the eastern tiger swallowtail. This painting was made sometime around 1587! Tiger swallowtails are large,… Read More Old North State Symbols #7 – The State Butterfly

Old North State Symbols #5 – The State Reptile

In 1979, the NC General Assembly designated the Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) as the State Reptile. Box turtles are unique in their family (Family Emydidae, the pond or marsh turtles) because they’re almost exclusively terrestrial. Other turtles in this family include the sliders, spotted turtles, and map turtles. Box turtles are called box turtles because they have the… Read More Old North State Symbols #5 – The State Reptile

Old North State Symbols #4 – The State Flower

Back in 1941, the North Carolina General Assembly designated the Dogwood as State Flower. Dogwoods are common understory trees throughout North Carolina, from Downeast to the mountains. Dogwood flowers emerge before the leaves do, dressing these harbingers of spring in dazzling white beauty. The Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida). This tree, however, has a trick up its… Read More Old North State Symbols #4 – The State Flower

Old North State Symbols #2 – The State Tree

Pine trees have been important commodities in North Carolina’s history since at least the colonial days.  Pine trees provide lumber, turpentine, and other resins, and North Carolina was one of the leading producers of these “naval stores” in the colonies.  To recognize the importance of these trees to North Carolina’s history, the state legislature, back… Read More Old North State Symbols #2 – The State Tree