Each of the states in the US has both an official flower and tree. These flowers are chosen for their beauty, as well as for what they represent. The official state floral emblem of the state of Idaho is called syringa, also known as mock orange because of its scent. It was designated as the official state flower in 1931.
Idaho State Flower History
The idea of having a state flower was proposed immediately after Idaho joined the Union. Syringa was chosen as the unofficial state flower due to its attractiveness and the way it turned the Idaho hillside snowy white in spring with its great clusters of flowers. The flower is actually considered the first state flower for any state because of its incorporation in the seal long before it officially became a state flower. In the 1890s, the flower was featured on the Great Seal of the State of Idaho, sprouting at the feet of a goddess. In 1893, syringa represented the state at the 1893 World Fair floral display in Chicago.
Brief Description Of The Flower
Syringa is a common name for the mock orange flower. It is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 6 inches tall and bears fragrant white flowers during the spring. Syringa is native to the Northwestern US, especially in British Columbia and northern California. It thrives in moist and semi-moist soils found along water bodies such as streams and ravines, and also in rocky areas. In Idaho, it is mainly found along the rivers at the time when the Chinooks salmons are migrating upstream. The species is known as Philadelphus lewisii and was named in honor of Meriwether Lewis, who extensively wrote about the flower in his journal. The flower grows in clusters at the end of the branches. Each of the flowers has at least four waxy petals and numerous stamen. The flowers are known for sweet, strong fragrance reminiscent of the orange bloom.