Kansas The Sunflower State 15 inch finished block by Pearl Pereira. The Wild Native Sunflower speaks of frontier days, winding trails, prairies, glory of the past, and pride of the present. This flower has given Kansas its nickname, “the sunflower state”. The movement to adopt the Barred Tiger Salamander as an official state amphibian began in an elementary school in Wichita, Kansas. Other state symbols wheat and cottonwood tree, dioecious, with flowers (catkins) produced in early spring. The male (pollen) catkins are reddish-purple, 8–10 cm long; the female catkins are green, 7–13 cm long.