State Flower – New Hampshire (NH)

In 1919, the northeastern state of New Hampshire choose Purple Lilac, Syringa vulgaris, as its official state floral emblem. Purple Lilac is not native to North America, it is originally from parts of Europe and Asia. Purple Lilac was first brought to the continent from England in 1750 to be planted in the gardens of Governor Benning Wentworth in his Portsmouth home. Purple Lilac beat out many other contenders for state floral emblem but won out in the end as the legislature felt it symbolized the hardy character of the men and women of the state.

Lilac is a shrub that grows to a height of 8-10 feet, an individual plant can live for hundreds of years. They thrive in regions with cold winters and will not bloom in warm weather climates. There are over 1000 varieties of Lilac throughout the world blooming not just in shades of lavender and purple but also pinks and whites. The blooms are one of the most fragrant in the world and on warm sunny days, their scent will fill the air all around the blooming bush. It was a popular plant in colonial days, both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had Lilac bushes in their personal botanical gardens. Purple Lilac remains a very popular garden plant today for its stunning appearance and the perfume of its blooms.