Lottah Nursery, Australia
Syringa vulgaris 'Madame Lemoine'
Plant Common Name
Common Lilac, Madame Lemoine Lilac
This antique double-flowered French lilac is so large it is almost tree-like, and its open branches double well as a living trellis for summer-blooming clematis. ‘Madame Lemoine’ is an old variety that was bred near Nancy, France at the famous Lemoine Nursery where many French lilacs were developed. It later became registered as foundation stock for the development of contemporary hybrids.
When not in bloom this tall, upright, deciduous shrub offers little interest, but it is exceptionally beautiful when its upright flower panicles appear in spring to early summer. ‘Madame Lemoine’ has cream-colored buds that open to double white flowers. They are potently 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. Though moderately drought tolerant, they still prefer supplemental water during very dry spells. Next year's flower buds are set shortly after blooming, so prune directly after their 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.
AHS Heat Zone
8 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
4 - 8
A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14
Full Sun, Partial Sun
15'-20' / 4.6m - 6.1m
10'-12' / 3.0m - 3.7m
Late Spring, Early Summer