From The Plant Encyclopedia
|Syringa vulgaris (Common Lilac) flowers|
|Species in this genus|
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|Please enter the plant name in this format: 'Latin name - Common Name'|
3 - 14
- Cultivation: Naturalizing, Low-Maintenance, Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Rich, Mid-Fertility, Poor, Loam, Clay, Sand, Rock
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium, Dry, Well-Drained
- Form: Tree, Shrub
- Habit: Deciduous
- Flower: Large, Floret, Red, Pink, Purple, White
- Fruit/Seed: Small, Seed
- Foliage: Leaves, Green
- Uses: Ornamental, Craft
Syringa (Lilac) is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family (Oleaceae), native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia.
Lilacs are very hardy perennials which bloom profusely in the spring. The blooms range from white to dark purple and violet, and have an incredible scent. They are easy care plants excellent for use at the borders of a garden or fence-line.
They are range in size from 2–10 m tall, with stems up to 20–30 cm diameter. The leaves are opposite (occasionally in whorls of three) in arrangement, and their shape is simple and heart-shaped to broad lanceolate in most species, but pinnate in a few species (e.g. S. protolaciniata, S. pinnatifolia).The spring-blooming flowers are 5–10 mm in diameter with a four-lobed corolla, the corolla tube narrow, 5–20 mm long; they are bisexual, with fertile stamens and stigma in each flower. The usual flower colour is a shade of purple (often a light purple or lilac), but white, pale yellow and pink, and even a dark burgundy color are also found. The flowers grow in large panicles, and in several species have a strong fragrance. Flowering varies between mid spring to early summer, depending on the species. The fruit is a dry, brown capsule, splitting in two at maturity to release the two winged seeds.The genus is most closely related to Ligustrum (privet), classified with it in Oleaceae tribus Oleeae subtribus Ligustrinae.
Popular Cultivated Species
Meyer Lilac Syringa meyeri
Littleleaf Lilac Syringa microphylla
Manchurian Lilac Syringa patula
Japanese Tree Lilac Syringa reticulata
French Lilac Syringa vulgaris
Including such varieties as, Belle de Nancy, Alba, Charles Joly, Mme. >emote, President Lincoln, and Wonderblue.
Cultivation and uses
Lilacs flower on old wood, and produce more flowers if unpruned. If pruned, the plant responds by producing fast-growing young vegetative growth with no flowers, in an attempt to restore the removed branches; a pruned lilac often produces few or no flowers for one to five or more years, before the new growth matures sufficiently to start flowering. Unpruned lilacs flower reliably every year. Despite this, a common fallacy holds that lilacs should be pruned regularly. If pruning is required, it should be done right after flowering is finished, before next year's flower buds are formed. Lilacs generally grow better in slightly alkaline soil.
Lilac bushes can be prone to powdery mildew disease, which is caused by poor air circulation.
The wood of lilac is close-grained, diffuse-porous, extremely hard and one of the densest in Europe. The sapwood is typically cream-coloured and the heartwood has various shades of brown and purple. Lilac wood has traditionally been used for engraving, musical instruments, knife handles etc. When drying, the wood has a tendency to be encurved as a twisted material, and to split into narrow sticks. The wood of Common Lilac is even harder than for example that of Syringa josikaea.