Celebrating Women’s Right to Vote

This August marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s constitutional right to vote. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, along with many regional and national public gardens, are celebrating by featuring the colors worn by the suffragettes.

Women dressed in white, yellow and purple, made banners and signs, and planted flowers in these colors to bring attention to the cause. The Garden’s horticulture department took inspiration from the dedicated suffragettes and used these colors to design the summer annual displays. When you visit, you will be greeted with these bright and cheerful colors in containers at the Bayer Welcome Center, within the Peirce Celebration Garden as well as the Hillside Pollinator Garden.

Helianthus annuus (Common Sunflower) stands tall along Pinkerton Run Road. According to the National Museum of American History, Kansas suffragists adopted the sunflower, their state flower, for the campaign in 1867. Yellow became the color of the movement and suffragists were encouraged to wear the color and flower to show their support.

The Suffragist, published in 1913, explains more about what these color represent: “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.”

During your visit, the plants that you will see representing loyalty, purity and life at the Garden include:

Agastache POQUITO™ Lavender (Anise Hyssop)

Ageratum BUMBLE™ White (Floss Flower)

Angelonia ‘Purple’ (Summer Snapdragon)

Argyranthemum frutescens ‘Summer Song White’ (Marguerite Daisy)

Argyranthemum frutescens ‘Butterfly’ (Marguerite Daisy)

Helianthus annuus (Common Sunflower)

Sanvitalia procumbens (Creeping Zinnia)