Botanical Name

Syringa vulgaris

Year Adopted


Peak Bloom

April to May


Pink Lady’s Slipper almost took over as State flower in 1991; ultimately, it was named the State Wildflower

Fun Fact

Purple Lilacs have an absolutely captivating fragrance used in many perfumes

New Hampshire state flower - The Purple Lilac
Purple Lilac was discovered by historian Leon Anderson, who noted that it was first imported from England, and then planted at the Portsmouth home of Governor Benning Wentworth in 1750. That year, amendments were introduced promoting the Apple Blossom, Purple Aster, Wood Lily, Mayflower, Goldenrod, Wild Pasture Rose, Evening Primrose and Buttercup for serious consideration of New Hampshire’s state flower.

Extensive and energetic debate followed regarding the relative merits of each flower. The Purple Lilac was ultimately chosen because its hardiness was reflective of the men and women of the state. New Hampshire’s state flower and wildflower are similar in their beauty – but infinitely different in durability.

The Purple Lilac is robust and sturdy. It’s native to New Hampshire, growing in moist, soggy wooded areas of the state and in acidic soils of pine-oak forests. Purple Lilac is cherished not only by residents, but gardeners all over the world for its incomparable splendor and charming fragrance. This state flower also boasts one of the most powerful and commonly used fragrances emitted by a plant.

Purple Lilac is a deciduous shrub generally used as a hedge or an individual “accent plant”. It can be found overflowing along the park trails and wide-open fields of Dover, as well as in riverbeds of Franklin. The gorgeous light purple or lavender flowers occur in bursting clusters amid dark green heart-shaped leaves. In the fall, the flowers may even turn yellow or green.

Purple Lilacs produce new shoots that grow from the base or roots of the shrub. Lilacs can withstand severely cold winter temperatures (even -35 degrees C); in fact, the species does not grow well at all in areas without significant frost in the wintertime.

Growing Information




Full Sun


3 - 8