Pawpaw and hellbender could gain Missouri recognition


Hellbender (Photo: Brian Gratwicke, Wikimedia Commons)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – An oddly named tree and an odd-looking salamander could soon gain fame in Missouri.

Lawmakers sent the governor a bill Thursday that would declare the pawpaw tree the “state fruit tree of Missouri” and designate the hellbender salamander as the “official endangered species.”

The Missouri Department of Conservation says the hellbender population has declined drastically since the 1970s. The salamanders live under rocks in rivers and streams.

The pawpaw tree produces sweet fruit and grows in shaded valleys across Missouri.

The legislation also would declare an official state tartan — a crisscrossed pattern of blue, brown and silver horizontal and vertical lines.

Missouri already has more than two dozen state symbols, including a state tree (flowering dogwood), state tree nut (eastern black walnut), and amphibian (American bullfrog).

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.


Latest News

More News