Monday, January 18, 2010

Syringa - Lilac

A genus of 23 species of fast growing, mostly deciduous shrubs that are part of the larger Oleaceae family. Most leaf out early in spring and have highly fragrant spring flowers.
They prefer full sun to partial shade on deep, fertile, alkaline to neutral, moist, well drained soil. They do not enjoy heavy clay but do tolerate sandy or gravelly soil. Lilacs prefer mulch in summer to conserve moisture. Lilacs are not generally eaten by deer.
To improve growth and establishment, newly planted and young Lilacs should be deadheaded ( remove finished flower clusters ) to encourage growth instead of seed production. With older plants this is optional however will still improve growth and vigor. Be careful not to damage the foliage while cutting off the old flowerheads.
If necessary, old overgrown plants can be cut back hard in very early spring, then fertilized and mulched. They will grow back dense and vigorously and bloom again in 2 or 3 years ( exclude tree Lilacs such as S. reticulata and S. pekinensis from this kind of pruning )
Species can be propagated from seed; cultivars are reproduced from cuttings taken from current years growth taken in summer. Layering is also a means of reproduction.
Purchase plants grown on their own roots, grafted plants sucker terribly providing a serious maintenance issue. Budding is an addition means of reproduction of cultivars however it is important when budding to repot so the union is 4 or 5 inches below the soil surface, so the Lilac gets on its own roots, or the plant will be short lived.
Borers can sometimes be a problem ( systemic inscecticides such as Bayer can be used if needed ) and Powdery Mildew can be a problem on the English / French Lilacs ( Syringa vulgaris ).



Syringa 'Boomerang'
Also called Syringa 'Penda'. A repeat blooming hybrid Lilac with parentage of 4 species including Syringa juliana, meyeri and patula, that was developed by plant breeder Tim Wood. It is fast growing, and very dense, reaching up to 6 x 6 feet in 5 years, with a maximum size of 7 x 9 feet. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 4 feet.
The somewhat small leaves are mid-green, turning to yellow or purplish-bronze during autumn.
The sweetly fragrant flowers are rich purple in bud, opening to lavender-pink.
It blooms very heavily during late spring, takes a quick break and if deadheaded, will bloom again continuously over up to 4 months from mid summer to mid autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun on fertile soil, tolerant of clay and wet soil. Very mildew resistant except where summers are intensely hot and humid. It makes a great flowering hedge.

* photo taken on May 10 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 27 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 3 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 9 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 22 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 27 2017 in Columbia, MD

* videos found on Youtube
Syringa chinensis ( Rouen Lilac )
Also called Syringa x correlata. Considered to be the hybrid between Syringa laciniata & S. vulgaris.
A fast growing, dense, graceful, arching, rounded large shrub reaching up to 20 x 16 feet. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 10 years - 17 x 17 feet; largest on record - 20 x 18.5 feet with a trunk diameter of 10.5 inches.
The ovate to oval leaves are up to 3 inches in length. The deep green foliage turns to golden-yellow during autumn.
The very fragrant, bright purplish-pink, tubular flowers are borne on arching panicles, up to 12 inches in length, during late spring.
Hardy zones 2 to 8, it has proven hardy in trials in both Indian Head, Saskatchewan and Brandon, Manitoba. Not prone to mildew or other diseases.

* historic archive photo


'Lilac Sunday'
Extremely vigorous, reaching up to 12 x 12 feet in 10 years with arching willowy branches. It does not sucker heavily and is mildew resistant.
The very abundant, fragrant single flowers are light purple.
Hardy zones 3 to 8.

'Saugeana'
Flowers are reddish-lilac

Syringa emodi ( Himalayan Lilac )
A rare, very beautiful, vigorous large shrub native to western Asia. Some records include: largest on record - 25 x 12 feet with a trunk diameter to 10 inches.
The oblong leaves, up to 9 x 5 inches, are green above, white beneath.
The lilac flowers are borne in dense clusters up to 6 inches in length.
Hardy zones 2 to 7. Resistant to mildew but prone to dropping its leaves during late summer drought.
A rare variegated form with a yellow leaf margin exists.

Syringa x hyacinthiflora
Vigorous, profuse blooming medium size shrubs that are the hybrids between Syringa oblata & S. vulgaris. It can reach up to 12 x 12 feet in 10 years. Some records include: largest on record - 17 x 23 feet.
The leaves are broadly heart shaped, up to 7 x 6 inches in size though are usually smaller on flowering shoots. The attractive foliage is red-bronze at first, turning to deep green then to red-purple in autumn.
The flowers are borne about 10 days before Syringa vulgaris.
Hardy zone 2 to 6 tolerating as low as -60 F. Not prone to mildew and more heat/humidity tolerant than Syringa vulgaris.

* photo taken on Apr 20 2015 in Elkridge, MD


'Blue Hyacinth'
Flowers are light blue

'Charles Nordine'
Flowers are lilac-pink.

'Declaration'
Upright in habit, reaching up to 9 x 6 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 10 x 10 feet. This hybrid originated at the U.S. National Arboretum.
The fragrant, intense deep reddish-purple flowers are borne on huge panicles up to 15 inches in length.

* photo taken on Apr 20 2015 in Elkridge, MD


'Esther Stanley'
A fast growing, bushy, upright shrub reaching up to 16 x 12 feet. It does not produce suckers.
The very abundant, fragrant flowers are borne in broad pyramidal panicles that can persist up to a month.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


'Evangeline'
A non-suckering shrub, reaching up to 15 x 13 feet or sometimes larger.
Early blooming, fragrant, lavender, double flowers.
More heat tolerant than Syringa vulgaris.

'Laurentian'
Flowers are purplish-pink in bud.

'Mount Baker'
White flowers

'Old Glory'
Excellent disease resistance and bears very abundant, very fragrant, blue-purple flowers.
This National Arboretum selection is otherwise identical to regular S. x hyacinthiflora.

* photo taken on Apr 28 2015 in Mt Airy, MD


'Pocahontas'
Vigorous and dense, reaching up to 12 x 13 feet in 10 years.
It bears very fragrant, single flowers that are dark red-purple in bud opening to deep violet.
The deep green foliage turns red-purple during autumn.

* photo taken on Apr 20 2015 in Elkridge, MD


Syringa 'Josee'
A complex hybrid between Syringa meyeri, S. microphylla & S. patula.
A semi-dwarf Lilac reaching up to 6 x 6 feet in 10 years, with a maximum eventual size of 8 x 6.5 feet.
The small leaves, up to 1.6 inches in length, are deep green.
The prolific, very fragrant, lavender-pink flowers are borne in clusters, up to 3 inches in length, during May and June, repeating in summer and fall if deadheaded.
Hardy zone 2 to 6. Disease free.

* photos taken on May 18 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 26 2016 in Columbia, MD


Syringa x josiflexa
A vigorous, erect, medium-size shrub that is the hybrid between Syringa josikaea & S. reflexa. It makes a great informal hedge.
Some records include: 10 years - 12 x 12 feet; largest on record - 17 x 17 feet.
The ovate leaves are up to 8 x 4 inches in size.
The foliage is deep green turning to yellow in autumn.
The fragrant flowers are reddish-purple or fuschia color, borne in large arching clusters, up to 12 inches in length, during early summer.
Hardy zone 2 to 6.

* photo of unknown source on internet


'Anna Amhoff'
Single white flowers

'Bellicent'
Pink flowers

'Elaine'
Single white flowers

'Guinevere'
Flowers are lilac-purple

'Lynette'
Single purple flowers

'Royalty'
Very dark green leaves.
Single dark purple flowers

* photo taken on May 8 2015 in Elkridge, MD

* photos taken on May 4 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 12 2015 in Columbia, MD


Syringa josikaea ( Hungarian Lilac )
A rapid growing, long lived, non suckering, dense, large shrub that is native to mountainous regions in central and eastern Europe ( also now found wild in Germany ). Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 6.6 feet; largest on record - 23 x 17 feet. Hungarian Lilac makes a handsome informal hedge.
The leathery leaves are up to 7 x 2.7 inches in size. The dense handsome foliage is glossy deep green above, whitish beneath; turning to yellow during autumn.
The flowers are deep blue-violet, borne on slender inflorescences, up to 8 inches long, during early summer.
Hardy zone 2 to 8, it has proven fully hardy on the northern Great Plains. Requires fertile soil but is drought tolerant and mildew resistant.

* photo taken on May 18 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )

* historical archive photo


Syringa julianae ( Juliana Lilac )
A spreading medium size shrub native to western China.
Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 8 x 10 feet.
The pointed, oval leaves are up to 3 x 1.5 inches in size.
The foliage is finely hairy, glossy deep green above; downy pale gray beneath.
The very fragrant, purplish-pink flowers are borne in panicles up to 4 inches in length in early summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 tolerating as low as -30 F. Mildew resistant.

Syringa komorovii ( Komorov Lilac )
A fast growing large shrub native to western China that reaches a maximum size of 20 x 10 feet.
The ovate leaves are up to 8 x 4 inches in size.
The lilac flowers are borne in drooping, cylindrical panicles up to 10 x 5 inches in late spring ( a month after Syringa vulgaris )
Hardy zones 2 to 7

* photo of unknown source on internet



Syringa laciniata ( Cutleaf Lilac )
A graceful, moderate growing, dense, medium-size shrub reaching around 6 x 10 feet that is native to the Middle East, especially Turkestan. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4.5 feet; 10 years - 8 x 8 feet; largest on record - 15 x 12 feet.
The feathery leaves are up to 3 inches in length, may either be smooth-edged and entire, or cut leaves ( resembling Marigold foliage with 3 to 9 lobes ), often with both leaf types on the same branch. The foliage is deep green.
The fragrant, violet-purple flowers are borne in clusters, up to 6 inches in length, in abundance along the branches giving a plumy appearance. The flowers appear in late spring, about the same time as Syringa vulgaris.
Hardy zone 3 to 8. This Lilac does well in both Canada and the northern U.S. as well as the south. It is very heat tolerant, pest resistant and not prone to mildew.

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC



* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


Syringa meyeri ( Meyer Lilac )
Also called Syringa velutina. A sturdy, compact, upright, medium-sized shrub that was discovered in a garden close to Beijing, China in 1909 and is likely extinct in the wild. Some records include: largest on record - 8 x 16 feet.
The oval leaves are up to 2 x 1.6 inches in size. The foliage is maroon-red at first, quickly turning to glossy deep green then to attractive dark maroon-red during autumn.
The fragrant, purplish-pink flowers are borne on abundant, dense panicles up to 4 x 2.5 inches, during late spring, about the same time as Syringa vulgaris. It also often repeat blooms in August and September.
Hardy zone 3 to 7, extremely cold hardy, it even grows in south central Alaska. Not prone to mildew.

* photo taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD



'Palibin'
A dwarf form of S. meyeri with pink-lavender flowers borne on panicles up to 4 inches in length. Some records include: 6 years - 4 x 7 feet; largest on record - 10 x 16 feet.
The leaves are oval, up to 2 x 1.5 inches in size. The foliage is purplish-red at first, quickly turning to glossy deep green then to attractive dark maroon-red in autumn. Resistant to powdery mildew.
Hardy zone 2 to 7, thriving even on the Canadian Prairies from Alberta east.

* photo taken on May 17 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Aug 4 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photos taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


Syringa microphylla ( Littleleaf Lilac )
A moderate growing, dense, spreading, medium-size shrub native to northern and western China. Some records include: 10 years - 6.5 x 6.5 feet; largest on record - 8.5 x 13 feet;
The leaves are pointed, ovate and up to 2.5 inches in length.
The foliage is mid-green above, gray beneath.
The clove-scented very fragrant, abundant flowers are pink. They are borne on short panicles up to 6 x 2 inches in length during late spring ( sometimes reblooming during late summer ).
The branches are slender.
Hardy zone 2 to 8 ( tolerating as low as -40 F ) in full sun or partial shade on well drained soil. It is even hardy in south-central Alaska. Heat tolerant and not prone to mildew.

* photo of unknown source on internet

* photos taken on Apr 24 2015 in Elkridge, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Superba'
Similar, except more vigorous with very abundant, rose-pink flowers which often repeat bloom in autumn if deadheaded. Some records include: 10 years - 6 x 12 feet; largest on record - 20 x 15.2 feet

Syringa oblata ( Early Lilac )
Also called Broadleaf Lilac. A strong growing large shrub to small multi-trunked tree that is native to north-central China, Manchuria and Korea. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 20 x 23 feet.
The leaves are similar to Syringa vulgaris but are larger, to 8 x 8 inches on vigorous shoots. The foliage is bronze at first during spring turning to mid-green then to red-purple during autumn.
The strongly fragrant flowers are borne in loose panicles, up to 6 inches in length, during a season that averages 10 days earlier than the similar Syringa vulgaris.
Hardy zone 2 to 8; since it begins into growth very early it may be damaged in areas with late spring frosts. It thrives in the eastern U.S. but grows poorly in England's maritime climate. It is even hardy in south-central Alaska. Heat tolerant and mildew resistant.

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum



'Betsy Ross'
A 2000 National Arboretum introduction, reaching up to 10 x 8 feet in 8 years; 10 x 12 feet in 15 years, eventually up to 12 x 14 feet.
The very thick, leathery leaves are up to 7 x 7 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green above, light green below. The tropical looking lush foliage remains healthy and mildew free all season. The foliage turns attractive purple-red in autumn.
The very fragrant white flowers are borne in very large clusters 7 to 10 days before Syringa vulgaris.
Hardy zone 3 to 7 it is heat, humidity and drought tolerant, performing much better than S. vulgaris from Maryland south. Betsy Ross Lilac even grows well in Texas, Mississippi & Georgia. Resistant to Powdery Mildew.

* photo taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


'Cheyenne'
The single flowers are pink in bud, opening to light blue.

'dilatata'
Heart-shaped leaves with fragrant violet-purple flowers.

Syringa patula ( Manchurian Lilac )
A medium-size shrub native to Manchuria and Korea that is similar to S. pubescens and considered a subspecies by some. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 3 feet; 5 years - 6 feet ( avg ); largest on record - 15 x 10 feet.
The leaves are up to 5 x 2 inches in size. The leathery foliage appearing very early in spring is purplish at first turning to glossy deep green above, whitish beneath. The leaves turn to purplish-red during autumn.
The very fragrant pink flowers are borne in clusters up to 6 inches in length during late spring.
Hardy zone 3 to 8 tolerating as low as -40 F. It is even hardy in south-central Alaska.

'Excellens'
White flowers open from light pink buds.

'Miss Kim'
Reaches up to 5 x 5 feet in 10 years, rarely as large as 10 x 9.5 feet with age, and is similar but slower growing ( fastest recorded rate of 2.8 feet per year ). The flower buds are also darker pink to purple and the foliage turns to burgundy in autumn.
Not prone to mildew.

* photos taken @ U.S. National Arboretum on May 1 2010

* photos taken on May 3 2012 in Ellicott City, MD
* photos taken on May 9 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photos taken on May 25 2012 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on June 8 2012 in Ellicott City, MD
* photo taken on May 17 2013 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on May 18 2013 in Ellicott City, MD
* photo taken on June 1 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 20 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 23 2014 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photo taken on Aug 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2016 in Columbia, MD

* historical archive photo

* photo taken on Apr 15 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 3 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 4 2017 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on May 8 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 19 2017 in Ellicott City, MD


Syringa pekinensis ( Peking Lilac )
A rapid growing small tree native to northern China. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 7 feet; 5 years - 12 x 8 feet; 20 years - 25 x 20 feet; largest on record & 75 years - 45 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
The leaves, up to 4.5 x 2.5 inches are deep green.
The small, fragrant, creamy-white flowers are borne in clusters up to 12 inches in length in June.
The bark is red-brown and peeling.
Hardy zone 3 to 7 ( -40 F ), it is tolerant of drought, salt and pollution and is also pest and disease resistant. It is more heat tolerant than Syringa reticulata.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON

* photo taken on Apr 24 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON

* historic archive photo



'China Snow'
Very similar except for having very showy golden-amber exfoliating bark.

Syringa x persica ( Persian Lilac )
A sterile, fast growing, fine, medium size shrub that is the hybrid between Syringa laciniata & S. oblata. It makes an excellent shrubby windbreak on the Great Plains. It also makes an excellent informal hedge or shrub for the back of a border. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 6 feet; 10 years - 10 x 11.5 feet; largest on record - 12 x 16.3 feet.
The pointed, lance-shaped leaves, up to 3 inches in length, are deep blue-green.
The fragrant, light purple flowers are borne on dense, erect, broad panicles, up to 4 inches in length, during mid-spring.
Hardy zone 2 to 7, it even grows in Anchorage, Alaska. Very tolerant of drought and is not very prone to mildew or other diseases.

* photos taken on May 26 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 12 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 30 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 6 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* historic archive photo


'Alba'
Flowers are white.

Syringa pinnatifolia ( Pinnate-Leaved Lilac )
A mesophytic rare, non-suckering, medium-sized shrub that is native to western China where it is endagered with extinction.
Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 1 foot; 5 years- 5 x 3.3 feet; largest on record - 13 x 8 feet.
The very distinctive, fine-textured, "Marigold-like" pinnate leaves, up to 2.5 inches long, are composed of up to 11 lance shaped leaflets up to 1.5 inches in length.
The small, tubular flowers are whitish-pink ( dark pink form known in wild ) borne in slightly drooping panicles up to 3.2 inches in length during late spring. It is among the first Lilacs to come into bloom.
Hardy zone 4 to 8 in full sun or partial shade ( partial shade best in hot summer climates ) on very well drained soil.

Syringa x prestoniae ( Preston Lilac )
The garden raised hybrid between Syringa reflexa & s. villosa forming a very vigorous, dense, upright to rounded shrub. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 5 ( rarely over 3 ) feet; 10 years - 13 x 13 feet; largest on record - 17 x 18 feet.
The oval or elliptical leaves are up to 7 x 4 inches in size. The leathery foliage is deep green above, slightly glaucous beneath; turning to golden-yellow during autumn.
The fragrant, soft pink to bright purple flowers are borne in slightly pendulous, rather loose panicles in early summer. It bloom period is about 7 days later than Syringa vulgaris.
Hardy zone 2 to 7, it is extremely cold hardy and even thrives in Alberta and interior Alaska. It is generally very mildew resistant.

* photos taken on Aug 2 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photos taken on Aug 1 2013 @ Stratford, Ontario

* photo taken on July 10 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON


'Donald Wyman'
Stong growing, non-suckering upright large shrub bearing lavender-purple flowers in large panicles.

* photo taken on June 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 20 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Isabella'
Light lilac-purple flowers in inflorescences up to 12 inches in length.

'Minuet'
A non suckering, dense, compact form with deep green foliage and bright pink ( deep red in bud ) flowers.
Reaches up to 5.5 x 4 feet in 6 years , 8 x 6 feet in 10 years.

'Nocturne'
Deep violet flowerbuds open to pale lilac.

'Royalty'
Very fragrant, bright purple, semi-double flowers are borne in broad inflorescences

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


Syringa pubescens
A dense, medium-size shrub native to Hebei Province in China. Some records include: largest on record - 20 x 20 ( rarely over 10 ) feet.
The leaves are up to 3.5 x 1.7 inches in size.
The clove-scented, profuse flowers borne in clusters are light purple in bud opening to light lilac-pink.
The branches are slender.
Hardy zone 3 to 8 tolerating as low as -40 F. Heat tolerant and not prone to mildew.

* historic archive photo


Syringa reflexa ( Nooding Lilac )
A strong growing, erect, handsome large shrub native to central China. Some records include: 10 years - 13 x 13 feet; largest on record - 17 x 17 feet.
The ovate leaves, up to 8 x 4 ( rarely over 6 ) inches are deep green.
The very abundant flowers are red in bud, opening to light rose-pink. They are borne on narrow, dense, somewhat pendulous clusters up to 10 inches in length during early summer.
Hardy zone 2 to 7

* photo taken on March 28 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


Syringa reticulata ( Japanese Tree Lilac )
A medium-size tree native to Korea, the Kurile Islands & much of Japan. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 8 years - 20 x 20 feet; 20 years - 40 x 30 feet; largest on record - 50 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.3 feet; largest in North Dakota - 45 x 40 feet. The Japanese Tree Lilac makes an excellent small street tree.
The leaves are up to 8 x 4 inches on vigorous shoots, usually about half that.
The foliage which appears early in spring, is deep green turning to yellow in autumn.
The very fragrant, feathery, creamy-white flowers with yellow anthers are borne in large, rounded panicles up to 12 inches in size.
The stout twigs are glossy brown with abundant paler lenticels.
The smooth reddish-brown bark peels on younger branches. The bark also has horizontal lenticels resembling that of many Cherries.
Hardy zone 2 to 7 and is clay tolerant. Prefers soil PH 5 to 7.5. This tree is extremely cold tolerant and even thrives in Anchorage, Alaska, Fort McMurray, Alberta and the Canadian Prairies. Resistant to pollution and salt. It is not prone to mildew or borers.

* photo of unknown source on internet

* photo taken on March 28 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photos taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA





* photo taken on August 4 2010 @ Birnam Woods Arboretum, Stratford, Ontario

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996

* photo taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON

* historic archive photos


'Golden Eclipse'
Foliage is deep green variegated with bright green edges in spring. During summer the edges turn to bright golden-yellow.
Hardy north to zone 3a, thriving in Winnipeg.

'Ivory Silk'
Similar with exceptionally showy flower panicles and very deep green foliage.
Hardy north to zone 3a, it grows vigorously even in Alberta where it can reach up to 9 x 4.5 feet in 5 years, eventually much larger.

* photo taken on June 5 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 1 2013 in Goderich, Ontario

* photo taken on June 9 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on May 19 2017 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


Syringa sempervirens ( Evergreen Lilac )
A fast growing, evergreen, Privet-like shrub reaching up to 10 feet that is native to western China.
The round, leathery, glossy deep green foliage is up to 2.5 x 1.7 inches in size.
The white flowers are borne in dense clusters up to 3 inches in length.
Hardy north to zone 7

Syringa sweginzowii ( Chengdu Lilac )
Also called Syringa tigerstedtii. An extremely beautiful, broad, graceful fast growing, large shrub that is native to Sichuan Province in China. Some records include: largest on record - 18 x 15 feet.
The oval leaves are up to 4 x 2 inches in size. The foliage has red tinged leaf margins at first, before turning entirely green.
The abundant fragrant, pink tubular flowers are borne on pendulous clusters up to 10 inches in length. They appear about the same time as Syringa vulgaris.
The stems are red-brown.
Hardy zone 2 to 7, mildew resistant. This Lilac thrives in a huge portion of North America except the hot humid southeast. Easily propagated from cuttings taken in June, as well as seed which requires a 1 to 3 month cold stratification.

'Superba'
Exceptionally vigorous and beautiful, with huge flower clusters reaching up to 10 x 6 inches. It also grows larger and may eventually exceed 15 x 15 feet.

Syringa 'Tinkerbelle'
The hybrid between Syringa meyeri & S. microphylla. A dainty compact dwarf, rounded shrub with arching branches, reaching up to 4 x 3.5 feet in 5 years; 6 x 6 feet in 10 years. Excellent choice for foundation plantings and informal hedging.
The small leaves are only up to 1.5 inches in length. The handsome foliage is deep green.
The fragrant, single, bright pink ( wine-red in bud ) flowers are borne in clusters during late spring.
Hardy zone 3 to 7. Extremely hardy, it even grows in the northern Great Plains in areas such as Winnipeg and Alberta. It is not prone to mildew.

* photo taken on May 17 2013 in Howard Co., MD


Syringa tomentella
An extremely beautiful, compact, strong growing, non-suckering, large shrub native to Sichuan Province in China. Some records include: 10 years - 12 x 10 feet; largest on record - 23 x 17 feet.
It is very similar in appearance to Syringa villosa which it is closely related to.
The large, elliptic leaves are up to 7 x 3 inches. The foliage is deep green and corrugated above, downy white beneath.
The fragrant flowers are pink in bud, opening to light pink then fading to white. They are borne in large clusters up to 8 x 5 inches in size.
Hardy zone 2 to 7

Syringa villosa ( Late Lilac )
A very fast growing, large shrub reaching around 12 feet that is native to northern-central China. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 40 inches; 10 years - 20 x 10 feet; largest on record - 20 x 20 feet. This Lilac does not produce suckers.
The ovate to broadly-elliptical leaves, up to 8 x 5 inches in size, are deep green.
The pink flowers are borne in abundant, very large, erect clusters up to 16 inches in length during late May to June.
Hardy zones 1 to 7; it is also drought tolerant and grows in areas with as low as 14 inches of yearly precip, making it an excellent landscape plant for the Canadian Prairies and interior Alaska. It is salt tolerant and not prone to mildew.

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Columbia

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook

* historic archive photo


Syringa vulgaris ( English Lilac )
A large shrub to small tree reaching around 15 feet that is native to central and eastern Europe. It has naturalized locally in the British Isles and western Europe as well as in North America to as far north as Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Kapuskasing and Smoky Falls, Ontario. Some records include: 20 years - 30 x 30 feet ( trained as tree ); largest on record - 40 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches; longest lived - 162 years. The English Lilac may be trained as a tree if limbed up and suckers removed but is often found as a wide, suckering shrub.
The heart-shaped to ovate leaves, up to 5 x 5 ( averaging closer to 3.5 ) inches in size, are deep yellowish-green, turning to yellow during autumn.
The lilac flowers are borne in pyramidal clusters up to 12 inches in length during late spring.
Hardy zone 2 to 6, the species and most of it's cultivars have proven fully hardy in trials at Indian Head, Saskatchewan and Brandon, Manitoba. Plants reproduced from grafting sucker heavily, if you purchase such plants and do not remove the suckers, the plant may easily revert back to its natural form. Therefore grafted plants are best avoided, using cutting grown plants instead. Powdery Mildew is a severe problem in the hot humid eastern U.S. as well as the Pacific Northwest, disfiguring the foliage on Syringa vulgaris and many of its cultivars; most non S. vulgaris are NOT prone to foliage mildew.


* photos taken on April 13 2010 in Howard County, MD


* photos taken on April 17 2010 in Laurel, MD


* photo of unknown source on internet





* photos taken on Aug 4 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photos taken on June 21 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD

* photo taken on May 3 2015 in Columbia, MD

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook

* photo taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Estate, Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on June 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON

* photos taken on May 13 2017 in Mountaintop, PA

* historical archive photos


'Agincourt Beauty'
Very large, single, violet flowers.
Zone 2 to 7

'Ambassadeur'
Flowers are azure-blue with white centers

'Ami Schott'
Medium blue double flowers

'Aucubaefolia'
Reaches up to 10 x 8 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 12 feet with interesting deep green foliage that is irregularily and heavily splashed with deep yellow.
The fragrant, double flowers are deep purple in bud, opening to lilac-blue.

'Beauty of Moscow'
A vigorous, upright, large shrub originating in Russia. It reaches an average of 12 x 8 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 20 feet or more.
The foliage is healthy and lush deep green.
Large pink buds open to huge double, very fragrant, pure white single flowers.
Very disease resistant.

'Belle de Nancy'
The very fragrant, double flowers are purple-red in bud, open to light-purplish-pink.
The deep green foliage turns to yellowish-green during autumn.
Reaches an average of 10 x 7 feet in 10 years, eventually about double that.

* photos taken on May 6 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on May 9 2015 in Elkridge, MD

* photos taken on May 11 2015 in Pikesville, MD


* photo taken on May 13 2015 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photos taken on May 18 2015 in Pikesville, MD

* photos taken on Apr 18 2017 in Pikesville, MD


'Blue Skies'
Very vigorous with blue single flowers.
Very mildew resistant.

* photos taken on May 2 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Burgundy Queen'
Vigorous in habit, reaching up to 10 x 8 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 20 feet or more.
The deep reddish-purple flowers are borne 2 weeks earlier than the species.
The foliage is deep green.

'Charles Joly'
A bushy, upright, large shrub reaching an average of 12 x 10 feet in 5 years, eventually to 20 x 15 feet or more.
The foliage is deep green.
The fragrant, deep purple-red, double flowers are borne on large conical panicles. The flowers are purple in bud.
Hardy zone 3 to 8

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )

* photo taken on Apr 30 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Charlex X'
Crimsin-red single flowers in pyramidal panicles

'Clark's Giant'
Vigorous and very large growing.
The large heart shaped foliage is deep green.
Lilac blue single flowers are borne in large pyramidal panicles.

* photos of unknown internet source




'Congo'
Reaches up to 12 x 12 feet in 10 years with an eventual maximum size of 17 x 17 feet.
The foliage is deep green.
The very fragrant, dark lilac-red, single flowers are borne in dense, large panicles.
Hardy zones 3 to 7

* historic archive photo


'Edith Cavell'
The double flowers are pale yellow in bud, pure white when open.

'Ellen Willmott'
Double pure white flowers

* photo taken on May 6 2015 in Ellicott City, MD


'Firmament'
Large, single sky blue flowers

'Katherine Havemeyer'
Upright in habit, reaching up to 12 x 10 feet in 10 years, eventually to 20 feet or more.
The foliage is bright green.
The very fragrant, double flowers are blue-lavender fading to pinkish.
High resistance to Powdery Mildew.

* photos taken on May 9 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Lamartine'
Blue single flowers.

'Lavender Lady'
Reaches up to 15 x 15 feet, bearing lavender-blue flowers on panicles up to 9 inches in length.
The foliage is rich green.
Hardy zones 2 to 8, it thrives and blooms abundantly in mild winter climates including coastal southern California and parts of the southeast where Syringa vulgaris usually does not.

* photos taken on Apr 30 2015 in Elkridge, MD


'Little Boy Blue'
Semi-dwarf, reaching up to 6 x 6 feet in 10 years. The foliage is deep green and the strongly fragrant single flowers are sky blue.

'Madame Charles Souchet'
Bluish-lilac single early season flowers

'Madame Lemoine'
Upright in habit, reaching up to 10 x 6 feet in 10 years, eventually 20 feet or more.
The deep green foliage turns to yellowish-green during autumn.
The fragrant, double, pure white flowers are borne in large clusters.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )

* photos taken on May 2 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 3 2015 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photos


'Marechal Foch'
Large panicles of bright purple-red single flowers.

'Massena'
A large dense shrub reaching up to 17 x 17 feet with deep green foliage.
The single, deep red-purple flowers are borne in loose panicles.
Hardy zone 3 to 8

'Maud Nutcott'
Pure white single flowers

'Monge'
A fast growing, large shrub up to 12 x 10 feet in 10 years, eventually 17 x 17 feet or more.
The fragrant, single, very dark, purple-red flowers are borne on abundant, dense, large panicles up to 8 inches in length.
The foliage is deep green.
Hardy zone 3 to 7.

'Olivier de Serres'
Lavender-blue flowers in large panicles.

'Paul Thirion'
Reaches up to 15 x 12 feet in 10 years, eventually 15 x 13 feet. The deep green foliage generally remains lush and clean the entire season.
The very abundant, double, reddish-pink ( purplish-red in bud ) flowers are borne in large panicles up to 8 inches long.

'President Grevy'
A vigorous upright shrub reaching up to 12 x 10 feet in 10 years; eventually to 15 x 18 feet.
The foliage is healthy and deep green.
The very fragrant, lavender-blue, double flowers are borne in huge panicles up to 10 inches in length.
Hardy zone 3 to 8

* photos taken on May 6 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Primrose'
Pale yellow single flowers in panicles up to 12 inches in length.
Bushy and upright, reaching up to 15 x 12 feet.
The heart shaped foliage is medium green.
Hardy zone 3 to 8

* photos taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


'Reaumur'
Deep red-violet flowers

'Sensation'
Reaches up to 10 x 12 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 15 feet.
Each individual flowers is deep purple-red variegated with a white margin. The blooms are fragrant.
The foliage is deep green, turning to yellow during autumn.

* photos taken on May 13 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Souvenir de Louis Spaeth'
Deep red flowers

'Tiny Dancer'
Compact and dwarf in habit, reaching only 5 x 4 feet.
The foliage is mildew resistant.
The flowers are violet-purple in bud, opening to lavender. They are borne on dense panicles up to 5 inches in length.
Hardy zones 4 to 8. It is very heat tolerant for an English Lilac.

'Vestale'
White flowers

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook


'Volcan'
Deep red to purple flowers

'William Robinson'
light pink-purple flowers

'Yankee Doodle'
Reaches up to 10 x 5 feet in 10 years with fragrant, single dark purple flowers. The darkest of all Lilacs.

Syringa wolfii ( Mongolian Lilac )
An extremely attractive, very vigorous, rapid growing tall shrub, very similar to Syringa villosa, that is native to eastern Siberia, Mongolia, Manchuria and Korea. Some records include: largest on record - 20 x 12 feet.
The elliptical leaves are up to 7 x 4 inches in size. The foliage is red-burgundy at first, turning to smooth bright green above.
The lightly fragrant, pale purple flowers are borne on pyramidal inflorescences, up to 12 x 7 inches in size, during early summer.
Hardy zone 2 to 7, thrives even in Lenningrad, Russia.

* photos taken by Dr. Nick V. Kurzenko @ CalPhotos


Syringa yunnanensis ( Yunnan Lilac )
An extremely beautiful, very vigorous, non-suckering, open, upright, large shrub that can be summed up as "Lilac on Steroids". Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 9 feet ( anything over 4 feet is rare ); largest on record - 20 x 12 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 inches. It is native to western China.
The tropical looking, huge leathery, oval leaves, up to 12 x 6.5 inches ( rarely over 8 x 3 inches ) are reddish green in spring turning in summer to glossy deep green above, bluish below.
The striking, fragrant, tubular flowers are borne on slender panicles up to 7 inches in length during early summer, very late for a Lilac. The flowers are soft pink, sometimes fading to white.
The rusty brown bark is exfoliates with papery curls.
Hardy zone 6 to 8 ( seed source from higher mountains hardy to zone 6 ). Very heat tolerant and mildew resistant. It also enjoys acidic soils unlike many other Lilacs.
Propagation is very easy from seed. Can be propagated by cuttings taken in the middle of July that typically have good roots within 2 months.

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