What Is The NH State Flower?

What is the NH State Flower? It is the Purple Lilac. The State of New Hampshire chose the purple lilac as the state flower officially back in the year 1919. The purple lilac beat out some other flowers that topped the list including the purple aster, mayflower, goldenrod, evening primrose, buttercup, apple blossom, and the wood lily. It is said that the purple lilac was chosen as the New Hampshire state flower because of it symbolizes what the people of the Granite State are known for: their hardy character.

Purple Lilac - NH State Flower
The New Hampshire State Flower – The Purple Lilac

About The NH State Flower – The Purple Lilac

I bought my first house in Concord New Hampshire and every Spring the lilac bushes around the perimeter of my back yard bloom. Every Spring, the lilac bush blooms and with it comes the scent of Spring. Purple lilacs have a wonderful scent to them!

  • Purple lilacs have very fragrant purple flowers
  • Purple lilacs are easy to care for you
  • They are ver cold hardy which makes them a perfect NH flower
  • Butterflys love the Purple lilac
  • NH deer don’t care for these bushes and leave them be

A lilac bush like the ones in my backyard can live for hundreds of years. Don’t be surprised when you see different varieties of lilacs.

The purple lilac is officially known as Syringa vulgaris.

There are thousands of varieties of lilacs in many different colors. Common alternate colors are white lilacs and pink lilacs. Apparently the lilac bush originated from Europe and Asia. Earliest records show the lilac bush dating back to the 1750’s in America!

A Little History About New Hampshire’s State Flower The Purple Lilac

Fun history facts for you. The Purple lilac officially became New Hampshire’s state flower back in 1919 but it has history even longer than that. NH historian Leon Anderson shared that the purple lilac was first imported from England and planted at the home of Governor Benning Wentworth in Portsmouth NH back in 1750. Even more noteable, Lilac bushes were were planted in America’s very first botanical gardens. In fact, US Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew lilacs in their own gardens.

New Hampshire State Flower Purple Lilac – Everything You Need To Know About Lilacs

Final Thoughts on New Hampshire’s State Flower

The Purple Lilac is the perfect flower representing the Granite State. Purple lilac’s have a long history in NH dating back to 1750 and to this day their wonderful fragrance is associated with Spring in New Hampshire. Their hardiness to cold extremes makes the purple lilac the perfect choice for New Hampshire’s State flower.

PS – Wondering what the state bird is for New Hampshire? Visit this article.


Kyle Battis is a life-long NH resident that enjoys making his way around the state, sampling delicious food and drinks, and sharing his experiences. Follow us at www.HereInNewHampshire.com