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Syringa vulgaris

Common Name(s):
Common lilac, French lilac
'Agincourt Beauty', 'Ludwig Spaeth', 'Sensation'

Fragrant, spring-flowering upright multi-stemed shrub or small tree in the olive (Oleaceae) family.  There are hundreds of cultivars available including single and double flowers of various colors including: white, cream, rose, magenta, pinkish-purple, lavender, and purple.   Most plants are grafted so remove any suckers that develop from rootstock to maintain appearance and prevent unwanted spread.  This plant grows rapidly to fill its space.  It makes excellent cut flowers.  It tolerates clay soils.  After its spectacular mid to late spring bloom, the shrub is of little intrest in the landscape with its leggy branches and leaves that are suseptable to powedery mildew.  Plan accordingly to have other plants at peak intrest during other times of the year.

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom: Spring, May

Wildlife Value:  Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.  This plant is resistant to deer.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Insect pests include scales, borers, leaf miners, thrips, and caterpillars. Powdery mildew can seriously affect the appearance of the foliage in the summer but does little permanent damage to the shrub. Prune the center of the plant the help with air flow.  Plant cultivars which are resistant to powdery mildew. Additional disease problems including blights, leaf spots, wilts, ring spot virus, and honey fungus. 

Compare this Plant to: Syringa x persicaSyringa villosa


8-15 ft.
Opposite, simple, heart-shaped dark green to bluish green leaves; 2 to 5 in. long
White, cream, purple-pink to rose flowers in spring; single or double; very fragrant
Sun to partial shade; range of soil types including heavy soil
Medium to coarse
Upright; stiff; ascending branches; leggy
6-12 ft.
cpp, deciduous, fragrant, hummingbirds, butterflies, pollinators, cut flowers, wildlife, deer resistant, clay soil

NCCES plant id: 1803

Syringa vulgaris 'Congo' Flowers
Ryan Somma, CC BY - 2.0
Syringa vulgaris Shrub habit
Maggie, CC BY-NC-2.0
Syringa vulgaris Leaves
Maggie, CC BY-NC-2.0