Pekin Lilac (Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis 'China Snow') in the Lilacs Database

Common names:
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Botanical names:
Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis Accepted
Syringa pekinensis Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: usually 15 to 25 feet, to 40 feet possible
Plant Spread: usually 10 to 15 feet, to 25 feet possible
Leaves: Deciduous
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Inflorescence Height: 6 to 12 inches
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Flowering Tree
Wildlife Attractant: Butterflies
Resistances: Pollution
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

bark of trunk

Photo gallery:
Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2019-09-17bark of trunk
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2019-09-17mature tree in parking lot border
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Location: Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IllinoisDate: 2019-09-17tree in parking lot island
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 28, 2019 3:42 PM

I've only seen this shrubby tree or small tree, medium size after many years is possible, at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. This cultivar of 'China Snow' is also called 'Morton' and was selected from stock grown at the arboretum's collections and introduced to the nursery trade by Chicaoland Grows. This cultivar is known best for having excellent exfoliating, amber-colored bark. It has the typical 2 to 4 inch long leaves that don't get mildew badly at the end of the season as many lilacs, and develops a yellow fall color that is not really good, but alright. Some large, diverse, conventional nurseries sell this, but it is not common so far. The very similar Japanese Tree Lilac is somewhat commonly planted in the Chicago region and I've seen some of this Japanese sister variety planted around the Philadelphia area.

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