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Lottah Nursery, Australia
SYRINGA x prestoniae 'Isabella'
Isabella Lilac, Preston's Lilac
A late-blooming, rock-hardy lilac with showy lilac-purple blooms, this 1928 introduction from the renowned English-Canadian horticulturist Isabella Preston 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 and are borne on the current year's growth. This is the original named cultivar of Syringa x prestoniae, the hybrid between nodding lilac (Syringa komarowii ssp. reflexa) and late lilac (Syringa villosa) first developed by Preston in the early twentieth century. It forms an upright, medium-sized to large shrub with handsome oval leaves. It does not sucker.
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, this 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. Remove the prolific seedpods to improve appearance. Like most lilacs, it is susceptible to powdery mildew, especially in humid droughty conditions. Use it as a screen, windbreak or hedge, or as an individual specimen in a shrub planting or mixed border. It can also be trained as a multi-stemmed small tree. It is ideal near a path or patio, where its perfumed flowers can work their magic. Its flowers are also wonderful in bouquets.
7 - 1
2 - 7
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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