Who knew? I had no idea that the Tennessee state flower had ever been the subject of controversy. It seems that Tennessee already had a state flower, the passion flower, until some folks got the idea that the iris should take its place. The iris won out and was named to its current title in 1933, but still remained the subject of controversy for many years. In 1973 the legislature gave in and awarded the passion flower the title of state wildflower. I guess that is kind of like coming in second in the beauty contest. As long as the winner is around, nobody remembers you.