West Virginia State Flower and State Bird
Cardinal ~ Richmondena cardinalis Rhododendron Maximum ~ Rhododendron maximum From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992:
To watch the habits of a Cardinal family is fascinating. Father sits on an exposed perch for all to admire and pours out his series of whistles while Mother and her young remain hidden in the foliage, occasionally uttering a sharp call note. Once primarily a southern bird, in recent years the Cardinal has steadily extended its range northward. Now, more and more people find their winter days enlivened by the compelling beauty of this prince.
The Rhododendron of West Virginia sometimes grows to be a thirty-five foot tree. This native species is perhaps the hardiest of all the evergreen Rhododendrons, and certainly the tallest and most treelike of the hardy northern types. Usually rose-colored, the flowers are about one-and-a-half inches across and slightly smaller than the Pacific Coast variety. Its flowers appear after the leaves of the current year’s growth are well expended. This new foliage hides the flower clusters to a considerable degree. This Rosebay Rhododendron, as it is also called, requires semi-shade to do well, and its frequently grown in gardens in the northern United States.
West Virginia Wildflower - Fringed Gentian
Art from the 50-stamp series, State Birds and Flowers,
issued April 14, 1982 simultaneously in all state capitals.
Cardinal ~ Richmondena cardinalis
Rhododendron Maximum ~ Rhododendron maximum
From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992: