Washington State Symbols
According to Watchtutorials, Washington is often referred to as the “Evergreen State” due to its lush evergreen forests. This nickname was first used in 1888 by C.T. Conover, an editor for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The nickname was officially adopted by the Washington State Legislature in 1890 and has been used ever since. The Evergreen State is also a popular reference to Washington’s abundance of rain and temperate climate, which leads to an abundance of green vegetation year-round.
The Evergreen State is also closely associated with the region’s Native American heritage, especially that of the Coast Salish people, who have lived in the region for thousands of years. In fact, some Native American tribes refer to Washington as “the land of evergreens” or “the land of plenty”. This name reflects not only their deep connection with nature but also their deep respect for it and its bounty. For example, many tribes have rituals dedicated to thanking Mother Nature for providing them with food and shelter from the elements.
According to Beautyphoon, in addition to this nickname, Washington is sometimes referred to as the “Cascadia”. This title was inspired by Mount Rainier’s iconic peak and refers to both the mountain range and state itself. It has become increasingly popular among those who live in or visit Washington due to its beautiful landscape and vibrant culture. It is a reminder that despite its vast size, Washington is still home to many unique experiences waiting to be explored – from its majestic mountains and stunning coastlines all the way down into its lush rainforests full of incredible wildlife!
The state bird of Washington is the American Goldfinch. It is a small and sprightly songbird with a bright yellow breast and black cap. The male American Goldfinch has bright yellow feathers on its wings and back, while the female has duller colors. The bird’s call is a cheerful “per-chic-o-ree” sound. It is found throughout the state, particularly in open meadows, fields, parks, and gardens. It feeds mostly on seeds from thistles, dandelions, and other wildflowers. They also enjoy eating insects such as caterpillars and aphids. In winter they can often be found in flocks at feeders or along roadsides where they gather to eat spilled grain or berries. In spring they form pairs and build nests in trees or shrubs where they lay up to five eggs that hatch after 12 to 14 days of incubation by both parents. Both parents also feed their young until they can fly about three weeks later. The American Goldfinch is an important part of the Washington ecosystem as it helps disperse wildflower seeds throughout the state as it forages for food amongst them.
The state flower of Washington is the Coast Rhododendron, scientifically known as Rhododendron macrophyllum. It is an evergreen shrub with large, showy clusters of flowers that range in color from pale pink to deep magenta. The Coast Rhododendron is native to the Pacific Northwest and can be found growing wild along the coast from northern California to British Columbia. The plant stands out for its large, bright blossoms that appear in late spring and last through summer. The Coast Rhododendron grows best in moist and acidic soils, so it is often found near streams or wetlands. It can reach heights of 6-8 feet and has dark green, leathery leaves that are up to 8 inches long. In addition to its showy blooms, this species also produces a sweet-smelling fragrance that fills the air when it blossoms. It has adapted to the damp climate of the Pacific Northwest by developing thick bark on its stems which helps protect it from wind and rain damage. This species can also tolerate some shade but does best in full sun or partial shade with regular watering. The Coast Rhododendron is a popular ornamental plant due its beautiful flowers and ease of care.
The Western Hemlock, also known as Tsuga heterophylla, is the state tree of Washington. This evergreen conifer tree is native to much of the Pacific Northwest and can be found in many areas throughout Washington. It is a large tree that can reach heights of up to 200 feet tall and can live for hundreds of years. The Western Hemlock has a dense, conical crown with drooping branchlets that are covered in short needles. Its bark is thin and fibrous with small ridges and reddish-brown coloration. The needles are dark green on top with two white stripes underneath, giving them a silvery-blue hue from a distance. The cones are small and oval shaped, measuring up to 1 inch long. They have thick scales that contain two winged seeds each and turn brown when mature. Western Hemlocks prefer cooler climates and moist soils, so they can be found along rivers, streams, lakes, bogs, and coastal areas throughout Washington State.