Did you know there are 20 Lilac Species, 15 Lilac Species (Hybrids), over 1500 named lilac varieties? Lilacs have 2 centers of origin, Eastern Europe and the Orient. The oldest lilacs in New Hampshire date back to at least 1750. These were purple lilacs that were imported from England and were located at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth. The purple lilac, Syringa vulgaris,was adopted as the state flower of New Hampshire in 1919. That year the legislature considered many bills and amendments promoting the apple blossom, purple aster, wood lily, Mayflower, goldenrod, wild pasture rose, evening primrose and buttercup as potential state flowers. After a long and lively debate regarding the relative merits of each flower, the purple lilac was chosen because it represented the hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State.
The Governor's Lilac and Wildflower Commission partners with New Hampshire garden clubs, schools, youth groups, and other public organization to promote planting of lilacs and wildflowers throughout the state.
Governor's Lilac and Wildflower Commission
Syringa vulgaris on Wikipedia
"In American colonies lilacs were introduced in the eighteenth century. Peter Collinson, F.R.S., wrote to the Pennsylvania gardener and botanist John Bartram, proposing to send him some, and remarked that John Custis of Virginia had a fine "collection", which Ann Leighton interpreted as signifying Common and Persian Lilacs, in both purple and white, "the entire range of lilacs possible" at the time."
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