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SYRINGA vulgaris 'President Lincoln'

Image of Syringa vulgaris 'President Lincoln'

Jesse Saylor

Family

Oleaceae

Botanical Name

SYRINGA vulgaris 'President Lincoln'

Plant Common Name

Common Lilac

General Description

Counted among the top ten lilacs for intense fragrance, this presidential variety also boasts beautiful lavender blue flowers. It is a large and vigorous grower that tends to sucker and become quite leafy. It was bred by famed lilac breeder John Dunbar (1859-1927) of Rochester, New York and introduced in 1916.

When not in bloom this tall, leafy deciduous shrub offers little interest, but it is beautiful when its conical flower panicles appear in spring to early summer. ‘President Lincoln’ offers lovely lavender blue flowers that are highly fragrant and ideal for cutting. The profuse blooms are held at tips of the branches 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, 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. These coveted cut flowers are so potently fragrant that a vase will perfume a large room.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 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

    12'-15' / 3.7m - 4.6m

  • Width

    10'-12' / 3.0m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    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

    Blue, Lavender

  • 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