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What You Need to Know about North Carolina for July 10, 2014

Our not so secret plant life, plus news from across the state.

Explaining North Carolina-plant life


North Carolina has designated five plants in various categories as our official state plants. They are the Carolina Lilly, Venus Flytrap, Frasier Fir, the flower of the dogwood tree and all pine trees. Let’s find out what their honors are and why.

Let’s start out with the backdrop of all of the main images on these posts, the flower of the dogwood. It is our official state flower, named as such in 1941. There are actually three versions of the dogwood flower, that vary throughout the state. Also, the wood of the tree was used for various small farm implements and the bark has medicinal properties. A popular legend is that the dogwood tree stood tall, until it was used to build the cross for Jesus. Once that happened, the tree began to grow in it’s current curvy state to keep from being used for a sad reason again. You’ll always see the dogwood flower here on this site as our symbol, and you can learn more about it here.

Speaking of Jesus, the state’s Christmas tree is the Fraser Fir. It was named as our official Christmas tree in 2005, after another campaign by schoolchildren to recognize the economic and cultural impact of the Fraiser Fir on our state. The Fraiser Fir takes years to get to the height where it’s ready to sit in your house for the Christmas season, that is if you want a 6 or 7 foot tree. They’ve been sent to the White House as the official Christmas tree several times. They aren’t the only Christmas tree in town, but they make up the bulk of the ones sold and grown as such. Take a good look at one in a more natural setting below and learn more about it here.

Fraser Fir” by Notneb82Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Our straight-up state tree is simply the pine, in all eight of its native iterations in the state. Pines were chosen in 1963 because of their ubiquity and their resilience. If you were to let your farmland here in state revert back to forest, these guys would be one of the first major trees to show up. In addition, North Carolina was once a major exporter of the items that you can extract from the trees, such as pitch, turpentine and of course tar. We’ve chosen to highlight the spruce below, who’s major staring role was as the body wood of the Wright Brothers’ airplane and that also makes appearances as a Christmas trees. Find out more about North Carolina’s pine varieties here.

Picea abies” by Original uploader was MPF at en.wikipedia – Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Another resilient plant we’ve chosen to honor is the Carolina Lily, as our state wildflower, in 2003. The Carolina Lily isn’t all that wild, but is resilient and shows up without asking throughout the state. It’s latin name is for a known naturalist and explorer. Learn more about it here and take a look at it below.



















(Via NCPedia)

And finally, our carnivorous plant, the venus flytrap, honored in 2005.  If you grew up playing Super Mario, one of the last things you wanted to run into was this:

















Yet,  they happen to be native to a very small section of North Carolina, near the coast. They also do not spit fire in real life and can only eat frogs and insects.It’s the leaf that does all the “eating” and they have a flower that looks very similar to the dogwood flower. They are also an endangered species. Take a look at a real one below and learn more about how they really work here.

Venus Flytrap showing trigger hairs” by [object Object]. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

And now, your news.

News Across North Carolina for July 10 2014

An economic breakdown of the furniture showrooms and their impact on real estate values in High Point.

Is everything awesome about how North Carolina is represented in this Lego diorama?

NC State University will be getting a major boutique hotel project and convention center on its Centennial Campus.

In Greensboro, the Self-Help Credit Union has purchased one more piece of the historic Revolution Mill and continues to renovate it into Class A office space.

Durham police will no longer be allowed to lie about 911 calls to gain entry into homes.

Dunkin Donuts plans to add 5 new stores in Greensboro.

Concord Mills, the big Charlotte area outlet/regular mall hybrid has a major aquarium now.

The Greensboro Historical Museum turns 90.

We’ve been talking about cleaning it up, but what does getting rid of the coal ash actually mean.

The state house has dropped lottery ads from their version of the proposal, as the negotiations continue on.

Several North Carolina business leaders have started asking for immigration reform.

An artist is restoring historic signs on several Wilmington buildings.

The latest in the film incentives fight.

The state’s loggerhead sea turtles are now federally protected.

Twelve-thousand children could lose their eligibility for after-school care if the state budget is passed in its current state.

A streetscape project hopes to convert Raleigh’s Oberlin Road into a main-street type setting.

A neighborhood in Clemmons, near Winston-Salem, is upset about a new neighborhood being built right next to it.

And finally, Bill Maher plans to add a heavy dose of political humor to his Greensboro performance Saturday night.

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