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Syringa reticulata subsp. reticulata

Phonetic Spelling
si-RING-gah reh-tick-yoo-LAY-tuh
Description

Japanese Tree Lilac is a very large shrub or small tree, reaching a height of about 20 to 30 feet with a 15-foot-spread, with huge clusters of creamy white flowers in early summer. The fragrance is more suggestive of privet than of traditional spring-blooming Syringa vulgaris.  With spreading branches and an oval to rounded crown, It has a Christmas tree shape, wider at the base and narrower at the top.   Although adaptable to soil ph, it prefers soil in a neutral range, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.   It can be planted as a specimen, street tree, in small groups, or in a border.

It is highly resistant to mildew when planted in full sun and to lilac borer when watered during dry spells.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Chantilly Lace'
    Variegated foliage
  • 'Golden Eclipse'
    Leaves develop gold edges
  • 'Ivory Silk'
    Blooms heavily, has attractive bark
  • 'Summer Snow'
    More compact, rounded tree
'Chantilly Lace', 'Golden Eclipse', 'Ivory Silk', 'Summer Snow'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#interesting bark#specimen#partial sun#pyramidal#salt tolerant#low maintenance#cottage garden#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#street tree#moist soil#well-drained soil#neutral ph#summer flowers#deer resistant#shrub border#rich soil#rounded#borders#alkaline soil tolerant#pollinator plant#compaction tolerant#asian garden#mildew resistant#small group plantings#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Chantilly Lace'
    Variegated foliage
  • 'Golden Eclipse'
    Leaves develop gold edges
  • 'Ivory Silk'
    Blooms heavily, has attractive bark
  • 'Summer Snow'
    More compact, rounded tree
'Chantilly Lace', 'Golden Eclipse', 'Ivory Silk', 'Summer Snow'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#interesting bark#specimen#partial sun#pyramidal#salt tolerant#low maintenance#cottage garden#flowering tree#air pollution tolerant#street tree#moist soil#well-drained soil#neutral ph#summer flowers#deer resistant#shrub border#rich soil#rounded#borders#alkaline soil tolerant#pollinator plant#compaction tolerant#asian garden#mildew resistant#small group plantings#clay soils tolerant#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Syringa
    Species:
    reticulata
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoko and Kyushu Japan
    Distribution:
    naturalized in the US in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont, and in Ontario, Canada
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers support hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, particularly Purple Admiral, White Admiral, and Canadian Tiger Swallowtail.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Shade
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-trunked
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    dry, oblong or ovoid, 2 cm long, green then yellow capsules, usually in large quantities
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Terminal, creamy white panicles 6"-12" long, flowers in June slightly later than the shrub lilacs.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    2-6" dark green leaves, ovate with a rounded base. Reticulata: pinnate-veined, a reference to leaf veins. Leaves are non-showy in fall
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Shiny
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Shiny smooth peeling red-brown bark with horizontal lenticles, turning grey with age..
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    shiny brown stems with horizontal lenticels
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Patio
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Flowering Tree
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Deer
    Dry Soil
    Pollution
    Poor Soil
    Salt