Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Patriotic New Lilacs Introduced In U.S.

Date:
July 4, 2008
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
The word evokes memories of promising spring days and visions of colorful, perfumed blooms. Lilacs have long been well-loved staples in America's yards and gardens, and have played a storied role in US history.

Betsy Ross (left), Old Glory (middle), and Declaration (right).
Credit: Photo by Margaret R. Pooler

Lilacs. The word evokes memories of promising spring days and visions of colorful, perfumed blooms. Lilacs have long been well-loved staples in America's yards and gardens, and have played a storied role in U.S. history.

Native to East Asia and Southeast Europe, lilacs were brought to North America by the first settlers and were sold in American nurseries as early as 1800. The oldest living lilacs in North America may be those at the Governor Wentworth estate in Portsmouth, N.H., believed to have been planted around 1750. In 1767, Thomas Jefferson recorded his method of planting lilacs in his garden book, and in 1785, George Washington noted that he had transplanted lilacs in his garden. Today, over two million lilacs are sold annually in the U.S., accounting for over $13 million in wholesale sales.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently developed and introduced three new cultivars of lilacs. Honoring the patriotic role lilacs have played in U.S. history, the new shrubs have been dubbed 'Betsy Ross', 'Old Glory', and 'Declaration'.

Dr. Margaret Pooler, a research geneticist at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service and U.S. National Arboretum, published a report in the April 2008 issue of HortScience, announcing the release of the new lilacs. According to Dr. Pooler, The National Arboretum's lilac breeding program was started in the 1970s to develop lilacs that were adapted to warmer climates, had good mildew tolerance, and a showy, fragrant floral display. 'Betsy Ross', boasting pale cream buds that emerge into pure white flowers, was released in 2000. 'Old Glory', and 'Declaration' were introduced in 2006. Both of the newer lilacs came from the same controlled hybridization, but have markedly different traits.

'Old Glory' was selected for its abundant fragrant bluish-purple flowers, rounded growth habit, and disease-tolerant foliage. According to Dr. Pooler, "In the Washington, DC, area, 'Old Glory' reaches a mature size of approximately 12 feet tall by 13 feet wide, and shows good tolerance to Cercospora blight and Pseudomonas syringae in warmer climates where these diseases are a problem."

'Declaration' was selected for its large, fragrant, dark reddish-purple flowers and open upright growth habit. In Washington, DC, its mature size is 8.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide; however, it performs best in traditional cooler lilac-growing regions. The names of all three cultivars were selected as part of a "U.S. Flag" series of lilacs from the National Arboretum. Both 'Declaration' and 'Old Glory' were tested by growers throughout the U.S. and are currently being propagated and should be available at retailers this year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Patriotic New Lilacs Introduced In U.S.." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701121842.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2008, July 4). Patriotic New Lilacs Introduced In U.S.. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701121842.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Patriotic New Lilacs Introduced In U.S.." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701121842.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins