The southern magnolia has been the state flower of Louisiana since 1900. It was challenged by fans of the state's iris blossoms in the 1940s and 1950s, but the challenge was unsuccessful. The magnolia tree and its blossoms remain in place as a symbol of Louisiana. The flower blossoms, with their lovely white petals, are present throughout the state, including the southern areas.
Lovers of the Louisiana iris did eventually have their day, however, when their flower was declared the state wildflower in 1990. Although found in Alabama and Mississippi as well, the plant favors moist, wet conditions such as are found in roadside ditches. Conditions like that abound in southern Louisiana, so Louisiana irises can be found growing wild just about everywhere there. They flower between March and April, and their blossoms come in a range of colors including blue, pink, purple, red-brown, yellow and white.
These wildflowers may be endangered in other states, but in the sunny and wet conditions of southern Louisiana they are thriving. Their flowers can be purple-blue or bright pink.
Birdfoot violets are another wildflower that is having problems elsewhere in the United States but finds conditions in southern Louisiana to be ideal and is doing well there. The flowers can be white, blue or purple.
Water hyacinths are pretty, but they are invasive. These extremely fast-growing swamp plants float on the water and can be viewed on many bodies of water throughout southern Louisiana. Efforts are actually made to remove them from Louisiana's waterways because they can quickly take over and have a negative impact on other aquatic life. They bloom in the spring.
Bearded Grass Pink Orchids
These wild orchids are usually pinkish-purple, and they flower mostly between February and April, but sometimes as late as June. They are small, and in the state of Louisiana are found only in the southern, coastal areas. They like the acidic soils of the pine forests and can often be found thriving in the wake of a forest fire in such areas.
Flower Viewing in Southern Louisiana
Interested in seeing these flowers — and others native to Louisiana — in their natural surroundings? With so many interesting places to visit in Louisiana, it's definitely worth planning a trip to the area! Whether you head to cities like New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Lafayette or explore more rural settings like Houma or St. Francisville, you can check out beautiful flowers, scenery and more! From impressive state parks, old-growth swamps, bird watching, and beyond, you're sure to be impressed with the local flora and fauna. There are many incredible trails to explore in Louisiana where you can see many flowers and plants native to the state, including edible wild plants and more. Be sure to spend some time on the water as well, whether you take a river cruise, go on a swamp tour, or explore by canoe or kayak.