Idaho’s State Flower

Our state flower, the syringa.  Did you know…

  • Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii) was designated the official state flower of Idaho in 1931 .
  • This flower appeared on the Great Seal of Idaho in 1890 long before its official adoption.
  • Meriwether Lewis (of the Lewis & Clark expedition) wrote about this plant in his journal, thus the species name lewisii.
  • Native Americans used its straight and strong branches to make arrows, pipes, digging sticks, bows, and combs.  The bark and leaves were used to make soap.
  • The syringa grows between four and eight feet tall. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of its branches. Each has four to five waxy petals and numerous yellow stamens. It has a strong, sweet fragrance and for this reason has been nicknamed “Lewis mock orange .”
  • The Syringa grows from British Columbia to the northern California.
  • Our state seal which features the syringa was designed by Emma Edwards.
  • This wildflower is at its peak along Idaho’s rivers at the same time that Chinook salmon are migrating upstream.

Photo credit

photo credit: <a href=”″>Syringa flowers on a ground</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

Text credit

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