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SYRINGA vulgaris

Image of Syringa vulgaris

Felder Rushing

Family

Oleaceae

Botanical Name

SYRINGA vulgaris

Plant Common Name

Common Lilac

General Description

The fragrance of an old-fashioned lilac in bloom is aromatherapy at its finest. European in origin, these tall, open, deciduous shrubs don't look like much when they are not in bloom, but in late spring to early summer they become brag-worthy. Luminous panicles of purple, lavender, white or pink flowers appear along their branches. Next year's flower buds are set shortly after blooming, so lilacs must be pruned directly after their yearly display. There are many superb cultivars to include the deep blue 'President Lincoln' and double pink 'Pride of Moscow.'

Lilacs are easy-to-grow and do best in full sun and average soil with good drainage. Lilac borers can be a problem, so keep an eye out for their telltale half-moon shaped holes along the trunks. These shrubs are fine feature plants and especially sweet when planted in masses. Cut their fresh blossoms for fragrant, long-lasting flower arrangements.

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

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Lavender, Blue 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

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No