The genus name honors Pierre Magnol, French botanist (1638-1715).
During Monet’s lifetime, his two chief priorities were his painting and his flower gardening, but they were actually inseparable.
The French and the Russians bred many of the famous lilacs grown today.
In July Americans celebrate Independence Day and the French celebrate Bastille Day so it seems appropriate to think about red, white and blue flowers.
A later common name was the "Cinderella Flower" because of the transformation of the original flower into the varied colors and forms that later evolved.