Indigenous Flowers and the Imported Purple Lilac of New Hampshire
New Hampshire adopted
the Purple Lilac or Syringa vulgaris as its state flower in the 1919.
However, the nativity of the Purple Lilac was questioned when Leon
Anderson, a historian, stated that the Purple Lilac came from England.
That during the year 1750, it was planted at Governor Wentworth’s
Portsmouth home when it was first imported from England and brought to
The Purple Lilac was faced with bills and amendments, the same year it
was adopted as the State Flower of New Hampshire. Proposed amendments
were introduced to replace the Purple Lilac and flowers indigenous to
the state were promoted such as the Purple aster, Apple blossom, Wood
lily, Goldenrod and Mayflower. Other flowers were introduced and
promoted as well like the Evening primrose, Buttercup and the Wild
The debate over the rightful floral emblem that will represent the New
Hampshire state was kept long and lively. It was a debate that discussed
the relativity of the merits represented by each flower. In the end, the
Purple Lilac was still the one chosen. The triumph of the Purple Lilac
was interpreted by Leon Anderson as being symbolic. According to him,
New Hampshire with its nickname as the “Granite State” is represented by
the hardy character of the state’s fellow men and women and the Purple
Lilac as its State Flower embodies it all.
Syringa vulgaris commonly known as the Puple Lilac was adopted as New
hampshire’s official state flower on May 28, 1919. Often times, this
particular flower is referred to as the Common Purple Lilac. It’s one of
the many known flowers that gives out fragrances considered to be one of
the strongest scents a plant could ever emit.
Purple Lilac, the poor man’s flower belongs to the family of Oleaceae of
the genus Syringa. There are at least an estimated 20 species of Purple
Lilacs. This particular flower are known to be native to the continents
of Asia and Europe. Purple Lilacs were believed to be imported to the
United States in 1750.
Obvious to its name, Purple Lilacs come in pink, lavender to soft purple
shades. The small flower measures about 1 centimeter in diameter each
that has four lobes of spreaded petals supported by a tube-shaped base.
Purple Lilac belongs to a deciduous shrub with hairless heart-shaped
leaves of dark-green hues that grows from 8 to 10 feet upon maturity. In
color and in form, the flowers of Purple Lilac can appear more diverse
and even larger.
These gorgeous purple blossoms occur in masses or clusters that blends
well in its bright multi-colored surroundings. Purple Lilacs tend to
grow in vast panicles. Blossoms of Purple Lilacs are capable of
withstanding extremely cold winters, emmiting more captivating
fragrances even as low as 35 degrees Celsius.
Although, all the species of Purple Lilacs are known to have a very
strong aroma, the fragrance still varies due to several affecting
factors. In general, the scent of Purple Lilacs are most aromatic on a
warm afternoon, when the sun is shining and the florets are in full
bloom. The fragrance of Purple Lilac also varies with its cultivar and
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