Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
SYRINGA x hyacinthiflora 'Excel'
An early-blooming lilac that does indeed excel in both warm and cold climates, this 1935 introduction from renowned hybridizer Frank Skinner of Dropmore, Manitoba, bears large conical clusters of fragrant lilac-purple flowers at its branch tips from early to mid-spring. One of numerous cultivars resulting from crosses between common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) and the East-Asian native Syringa oblata, this deciduous shrub offers the features of common lilac but blooms a week or more earlier. It forms a rather open medium-sized shrub with oval mid-green leaves.
Plant this shrub in full to partial sun and well-drained mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil. It is most floriferous and least lanky in full sun. With its exceptional cold hardiness and relatively low winter chilling requirement, it succeeds in the mild environs of California and the severe cold of the northern Great Plains. The early blooms may be damaged by late freezes. Like most lilacs, it is susceptible to powdery mildew, especially in humid droughty conditions. Mass 'Excel' in screens, windbreaks or hedges, or use it singly in a shrub planting or mixed border. It is ideal near a path or patio, where its perfumed flowers can work their magic. The flowers are also wonderful in bouquets.
8 - 1
3 - 9
A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Full Sun, Partial Sun
8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m
6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m
Early Spring, Spring
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Green, Sandy Brown
Cutflower, Feature Plant, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
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