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SYRINGA x chinensis

Image of Syringa x chinensis

Jesse Saylor

Family

Oleaceae

Botanical Name

SYRINGA x chinensis

Plant Common Name

Chinese Lilac

General Description

Originating in the Botanic Garden at Rouen, France, in 1777, this hybrid of common lilac betters its parent in its dense, graceful, arching, non-suckering habit, its smaller daintier leaves, and its relative tolerance of hot summers and mild winters. Its broad clusters of fragrant purple-lilac flowers crowd the branch tips in mid- or late spring, slightly earlier than those of common lilac. They attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. The narrowly oval medium-green leaves are a third to half the size of those of common lilac. This handsome lilac eventually forms a large rounded shrub.

Grow this hardy and adaptable shrub in full to partial sun and well-drained mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil. Flowering increases with sunlight. It requires relatively chilly winters and moderate summers to grow and flower its best. It is susceptible to powdery mildew, especially in humid droughty conditions. Use this plant as a screen, windbreak or hedge, or as an individual accent plant in a mixed border. It is ideal near a path or patio, where its perfumed flowers can work their magic. They are also wonderful in bouquets.

Cultivar 'Alba' has white pink-tinged flowers, 'Saugenea' bears red-violet blooms, and 'Lilac Sunday' produces masses of pale violet flower clusters.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun

  • Height

    8'-15' / 2.4m - 4.6m

  • Width

    8'-15' / 2.4m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Brown, 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, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No