Syringa vulgaris

25 Apr

Syringa vulgaris (16/04/11, London)

Syringa vulgaris (16/04/11, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Soil: Moist, well drained.

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Eventual Height: 7m

Eventual Spread: 7m

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Oleaceae

Syringa vulgaris is a small deciduous multi stemmed tree or large shrub with a spreading habit. Its light green/  glaucus leaves are ovate to chordate with entire margins, up to 12cm long and 8cm broad. Its fragrant lilac coloured flowers are conical, up to 1cm long and arranged in dense terminal panicles. It usually flowers profusely in alternate years. Its brown fruit is a dry capsule which is up to 2cm long. Its roots may produce suckers. There many cultivars of this plant, colours varying from white, pink, mauve and blue.

Syringa vulgaris flower (17/04/2011, London)

Syringa vulgaris flower (17/04/2011, London)

Syringa vulgaris, commonly known as Lilac, is native to the Balkan peninsula in south-eastern Europe. Its wood is prized as one of the densest in Europe.

Syringa is derived from the Greek syrinx meaning ‘a tube’, possibly alluding to its hollow stems. Vulgaris derived from the Latin meaning ‘common’ .

Syringa vulgaris and its cultivars are useful to the landscape architect for their beautifully scented, conical shaped flowers. It can be employed as a strong specimen plant or in a group planting scheme.

Syringa vulgaris 'Joan Danbury' Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Syringa vulgaris ‘Joan Danbury’ Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Syringa vulgaris will tolerate frost, exposed locations and various soil pH levels but prefers slightly acidic soil.

Ecologically, Syringa vulgaris will attract pollinating insects such as bees that will feed on its nectar.

The Royal Horticultural Society have given Syringa vulgaris their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Syringa vulgaris 'Komsomolka' Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Syringa vulgaris ‘Komsomolka’ Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Syringa vulgaris requires little maintenance. Flowers can be deadheaded after they have faded to encourage a fuller habit. Pruning is unadvisable as Lilacs flower on old wood, and produce more flowers if left unpruned. Over mature specimens may be rejuvenated by pruning the plant hard to encourage vigorous new growth.

Syringa vulgaris 'Ogni Moskvy' Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Syringa vulgaris ‘Ogni Moskvy’ Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Syringa vulgaris 'Sovetskaya Arctika' Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Syringa vulgaris ‘Sovetskaya Arctika’ Flower (05/05/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

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One Response to “Syringa vulgaris”

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  1. Lilac Tree Seeds | PLANTS - 20/11/2011

    […] of Fools: The Syringa […]

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