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Lady slippers, such as this one along state Highway 11 in northern Minnesota, are the state flowers of Minnesota. In 1990, Gov. Rudy Perpich declared 81 miles of Highway 11 a Minnesota Wildflower Route because of the thousands of lady slippers growing alongside the roadway.

In full bloom

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Most people have seen a pink-and-white lady slipper and know it's the state flower. But does anyone know how, when and why it got that distinction?


In a Feb. 4, 1893 resolution that appears in the Senate Journal, a resolution was made to designate the lady slipper or moccasin, or Cypripedium calceolus, as the state flower. Problem was, it didn't actually grow in Minnesota.

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