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Common Lilac

Syringa vulgaris

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Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Syringa vulgaris flowers

Syringa vulgaris flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Syringa vulgaris in bloom

Syringa vulgaris in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 feet

Spread:  9 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  Common Lilac

Description:

An old-fashioned homestead favorite, perfuming the air with fragrance in early spring from upright panicles of lilac-pink flowers; upright, bushy habit, quite leggy, suckers profusely, makes a great tall and dense hedge

Ornamental Features

Common Lilac features showy panicles of fragrant lilac purple flowers rising above the foliage in mid spring. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has bluish-green foliage throughout the season. The heart-shaped leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Common Lilac is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering
  • Invasive
  • Insects

Common Lilac is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Common Lilac will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 9 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Screening  Garden 
Applications
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features