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Lottah Nursery, Australia
SYRINGA x prestoniae 'Agnes Smith'
Agnes Smith Lilac, Preston's Lilac
A late-blooming, rock-hardy lilac with showy white blooms, this 1970 introduction from Owen M. Rogers of the University of New Hampshire bears masses of branching pyramidal flower clusters at its stem tips in late spring. The fragrant flowers open more than a week after those of common lilac. This is one of many cultivars of Syringa x josiflexa, the hybrid between nodding lilac (Syringa komarowii ssp. reflexa) and Hungarian lilac (Syringa josikaea) first developed by renowned English-Canadian horticulturist Isabella Preston in the early twentieth century. It forms an upright to arching, medium-sized to large shrub with handsome oval leaves.
Plant this shrub in full to partial sun and well-drained mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil. Plants are most floriferous and least lanky in full sun. With its exceptional cold hardiness, it is among the few lilacs that succeed in areas of severe cold such as the northern Great Plains. It requires relatively chilly winters and moderate summers to grow and flower its best. Like most lilacs, it is susceptible to powdery mildew, especially in humid droughty conditions. Use 'Agnes Smith' as a screen, windbreak or hedge, or as an individual specimen in a shrub planting or mixed border. It is ideal near a path or patio, where its perfumed flowers can work their magic. Its flowers are also wonderful in bouquets.
8 - 1
2 - 8
A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16
Full Sun, Partial Sun
8'-12' / 2.4m - 3.7m
6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Cutflower, Feature Plant, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
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