North Carolina State Flower and State Bird
Cardinal ~ Richmondena cardinalis
The male Cardinal zealously guards his territory. He warns off rivals or enemies with fierce cries; if the intruder persists, the Cardinal races out to attack on short, rounded wings. He may even strike at his own image in a window, mirror, or automobile hubcap if he is riled enough. Found virtually everywhere in America except for the extreme north, the Cardinal flits about canals, and nests in bushes along banks. Just as often, the Cardinal’s nest may be hidden in a thicket, or in a sapling.
Flowering Dogwood ~ Cornus florida
To the Flowering Dogwood goes the honor of having been nominated the most beautiful native American flowering tree. Spring finds it covered with four-petaled flowers, each up to four inches across. The most common color of the wild Dogwood is white, but shades of pink to near red have been found. In autumn, the flowers turn flaming red, coinciding with the ripening of the small, berrylike fruits that are also brilliant red. Flowering Dogwoods may grow to forty feet with equal spread, but smaller sizes are more common.
From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992: