Idaho State Flower
Adoption of the Idaho State Flower
The history of the Syringa, or Lewis Mock Orange, as a representative of the State of Idaho, began in the summer of 1890. Idaho had just been admitted to the union in July. As a new state, Idaho was in need of an official state seal. Concurrent Resolution No. 1, of the First Idaho Legislature, directed that a committee be formed to sponsor a design contest for the seal and that a prize of $100.00 be awarded for the best design. The First Legislature also agreed to identify Syringa as the official state flower.
That summer, Emma Sarah Etine Edwards arrived in Boise to visit relatives. A talented artist, Emma had spent the previous year at art school in New York and was on her way home to California when she stopped in Idaho. Emma fell in love with Boise and decided to stay, offering art instruction to the residents of the city. Her talents were substantial and she was invited to enter the state seal design contest.
Incorporated in her winning design of The Great Seal of the State of Idaho was the Syringa. In her design description, Emma notes the presence of the state flower.
In 1893, a committee of Boise women, known as the Columbian Committee, selected Syringa to represent Idaho at the World's Exposition in Chicago.
Though it was agreed to and commonly accepted that the Syringa was the state flower of Idaho, it was not officially adopted until 1931.
The Idaho Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Idaho Statutes, Title 67, Chapter 45, Section 67-4502.
TITLE 67. STATE GOVERNMENT AND STATE AFFAIRS.
Philadelphus lewisii (Lewis Mock Orange): Plant Encyclopedia from MyGardenGuide.
Plant Profile for Philadelphus lewisii (Lewis Mock Orange): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
State Flower List: List of all of the state flowers.
State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book by Annika Bernhard - 51 accurately detailed, copyright-free renderings include national bird (eagle) and flower (rose) plus 50 state birds and flowers.
U. S. State Flowers in Cross Stitch by Gerda Bengtsson - Botanically correct cross stitch designs of state flowers of the 50 States.
Quilting Flowers of the States by Sue Harvey - A lovely 12-inch flower block for each of the 50 states. Techniques used are piecing, appliqué, paper-piecing and three-dimensional techniques.
Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.
Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)
Source: Idaho Statutes, (http://www3.state.id.us/idstat/TOC/idstTOC.html), June 15, 2005
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