Washington State Flower and State Bird
American Goldfinch ~ Spinus tristis
Love of life is the immediate quality of this striking and colorful bird. Small flocks of Goldfinches are forever cavorting in tree tops, playing and chattering, warbling a tuneful canary rhythm or calling each other in sweet, musical notes. Long after the other birds have settled down to their staid family life, the Goldfinches continue their merry club life. They are among the last birds of the season to nest, delaying the raising of their young to late summer.
Rhododendron ~ Rhododendron macrophyllum
Found in Washington, this Rhododendron grows to some twenty feet in height and is the western counterpart of the eastern Rhododendron. Though the eastern species thrives in cold weather, Washington’s Rhododendron bears leaves which droop in freezing temperatures. In early summer, flowers nearly cover this variety. They are borne in clusters that grow at the end of the branch. Its long shining leaves are dark green on top. They form a handsome frame for the delicate pink flowers which have five petals, flecked with golden spots. The Rhododendron is one of America’s loveliest blossoms.
From The Wildflowers of the 50 States U.S. stamps issued July 24, 1992: