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SYRINGA vulgaris 'Lavender Lady'

Image of Syringa vulgaris 'Lavender Lady'

Lottah Nursery, Australia

Family

Oleaceae

Botanical Name

SYRINGA vulgaris 'Lavender Lady'

Plant Common Name

Common Lilac, Lavender Lady Lilac

General Description

This is one of the few French lilacs well-suited to southern gardens. This heat-tolerant cultivar was bred in the 1960s by John Sobeck of Descanso Gardens in Southern California. ‘Lavender Lady’ is one of the original Descanso Hybrids developed a half century ago at the Rancho del Descanso Nursery and is parent to many other California lilac hybrids.

When not in bloom the large, rounded, deciduous shrub offers little interest, but it is exceptionally beautiful when its large flower panicles appear in spring to early summer. ‘Lavender Lady’ offers big lavender and violet flowers with curled petals. They are highly fragrant, ideal for cutting and attract loads of bees, butterflies and many other insect pollinators.

Lilacs develop their best habit and flowers when grown in full sun and prefer average to fertile soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline and well-drained. Unlike most lilacs, which require a long cold spell to replenish, ‘Lavender Lady’ will grow well further south. Though moderately drought tolerant, it still prefers supplemental water during very dry spells. Next year's flower buds are set shortly after blooming, so prune directly after its yearly display.

There are several serious pests and diseases that plague lilacs. Lilac borers can be a fatal, so keep an eye out for their telltale half-moon shaped holes along the trunks. Powdery mildew is also a yearly problem. Extreme drought stress can invite both.

French lilacs make fine feature plants. Cut their fresh blossoms for fragrant, long-lasting flower arrangements.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-12' / 3.0m - 3.7m

  • Width

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Eastern Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Lavender, Violet

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Yellow, Sandy Brown

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No