Established in 1982. Lilacs (Syringa) are native to Eastern Europe and Asia. They are in the olive family (Oleacea) and are best known for their fragrant and robust flower clusters that come in a variety of colors from pink to deep purple and ivory white. The earliest record of this flowering shrub arriving in America is with plantings around the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, when Governor Benning Wentworth planted lilacs there in 1750. These lilacs are considered to be the oldest in North America. Lilacs are very much a part of this country’s history with both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington establishing plantings around their homes. Thomas Jefferson even discusses his method of planting lilacs in his garden book. They are tough plants, easy to transplant and establish, come in hundreds of varieties, and are a traditional homestead planting throughout New England where many a cellar hole can be identified by the lilacs still growing there, long after the original house has vanished. This characteristic behavior is typical since lilacs spread by means of underground shoots.