General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
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 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Plant Height: 10-15 feet
Plant Spread: 6-12 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Lavender
Pink
Purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies
Bees
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Image
Common names
  • Common Lilac
  • Lilac
  • French Lilac
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Syringa vulgaris
  • Synonym: Syringa nigricans

Photo Gallery
Location: IL
Date: 2012-04-17
#Pollination Red Admiral Butterfly

Date: 2023-05-18
Location: Cottonwood, CA
Date: 2021-04-06
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2016-05-26
Flowers of my common lavender Lilac were pink in 2016… not sure
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2020-06-01
Common lilac

Date: 2012-04-18
Location: Central Arizona
Date: 2008-04-05
A swallowtail butterfly on the lilacs at the trailhead., Vee-Bar-
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2020-03-13
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2020-03-13
Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my garden
Date: 2019-04-10
Location: Warren, Vermont
Date: 2023-05-31
This color 💜💜💜❤️
Location: Willow Valley Communities Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USA
Date: 2020-05-03
By the Martin Mylin III 1787 House
Location: Orem, Utah
Date: 2012-04-20
At Sunriver Gardens
Location: My Garden, UK
Date: 2022-04-24
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2021-03-24
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2020-05-29
Buds are light green, then light yellow to blush pink.  Flowers a

Date: 2023-05-18
Location: a Cape Elizabeth, Maine cemetary
Date: 2024-05-25
Quite striking appearance.  Unknown whether this is a named or hi
Location: Willow Street, Pennsylvania
Date: 2023-04-19
Location: Oxfordshire, England
Date: 2016-05-05
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2020-03-20
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2020-03-20
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2020-03-20
Location: West Valley City, UT
Date: 2009-04-29
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2020-05-31
Mature common lilac.  Wonderful fragrance.
Location: Bea’s garden
Date: 2023-05-14

Date: 2014-04-28
Location: Millinocket, Maine
Date: 2023-05-24
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2008-12-13
 Seedheads left for the birds

Date: 2022-06-07
KODAK Digital Still Camera

Date: 2022-06-07
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2021-03-27

Date: 2014-04-28

Date: 2012-04-18
Location: 812 Shober Street Winston-Salem, NC
Date: April 17, 2022
Common lilac #33 nn; LHB p. 801, 166-10-12, "From Greek for pipe.
Location: In my Northern California garden
Date: 2010-04-04
Location: Willow Valley Communities, Willow Street, Pennsylvania
Date: 2022-03-27
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2020-03-11
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-04-20
flowers and leaves
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: 5/7/15
Taken with full overcast in the early evening.
Location: Near Napa Valley (Northern California)
Date: 2021-03-27

Date: 2012-04-18

Date: 2012-04-18
Location: Romania
Date: 2022-05-03
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: Spring 2007
The top of my \"big\" common purple lilac about 12' tall
Location: Willow Valley Communities Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USA
Date: 2020-05-03
By the Martin Mylin III 1787 House
Uploaded by nmumpton
Location:  812 Sober Street  Winston-Salem, NC
Date: April 17, 2022
Common lilac #33 nn; LHB p. 801, 166-10-12, "From Greek for pipe.
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2023-05-28
My seedling vulgaris lilac can be dazzling in the sunshine.
Location: Orem, Utah
Date: 2012-04-20
At Sunriver Gardens
Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
Date: 2008-05-11
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Eastern Shore of Maryland, zone 7B.  
Date: 2024-04-14
Beautiful pristine white lilac, very large panicles and very larg
Location: My garden in Belgium
Date: 2009-06-04
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: Spring 2007
My \"small\" common purple lilac about 5' tall
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 20 May 2022
My beautiful white seedling lilac.  Classic lilac fragrance which
Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
Date: 2009-05-04
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2020-05-30
Location: Darwell Rolling Woods, Alberta
Date: 2007-04-20
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2024-05-24
A floret with six petals.  My seedling lilac.
Location: Hood, Alabama
Location: Columbus, OH
Date: 4-24-2003
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-04-20
full-grown regular Common Lilac
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2009-12-20
two shrubs in winter
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2015-05-05
Uploaded by purpleinopp
Location: Massachusetts
Date: 2016-05-19
Uploaded by purpleinopp
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 17 May 2022
Burgundy-stemmed new growth!  Florets are tiny.  Overall, eye cat
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 27 May 2022
A showier bloom among generic “common lilac” shrubs at the ga

Date: 2011-05-22

Date: 2017-05-15

Old fashioned lilacs.
Location: Long Island, NY 
Date: 2013-05-12
Location: Long Island, NY 
Date: 2013-05-12
Location: In my Northern California garden
Date: 2009-04-05
Location: Holladay, UT
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2016-04-15
Location: Southern Maine
Date: 2024-05-22
Seedling lilac
Location: central Illinois
Date: 3-30-12
Location: central Illinois
Date: 3-30-12
Location: CZ Sirem My garden
Date: 2015-05-14
Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.
Date: 2008-05-07
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Malvern, Pennsylvaina
Date: 2019-04-27
full-grown shrub in bloom
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2009-11-20
Fall and winter if not deadheaded
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2017-04-26
full-grown shrub in bloom
Location: Denver Metro, CO
Date: 2012-04-02
The smaller of my two common lilacs.  It's only 6' tall and about
Location: Victoria, Australia.
Date: October
credit: Jjron

Photo by Leo Michels

Photo by Leo Michels
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: Spring 2007
My \"big\" common purple lilac from the front.
Location: Denver Metro CO
Date: 2010-04-27
Just starting to leaf out.  This is my \"big\" common lilac.
Location: Long Island, NY 
Date: 2013-05-12
Location: CZ Sirem
Date: 4000-05-08
Location: CZ Sirem
Date: 2015-05-07
Location: Holladay, UT
Location: Holladay, UT
Location: Cedarhome, Washington
Date: 2014-04-16
Early spring
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2016-04-15
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2016-04-15
Location: Botanischer Garten Berlin
Location: Botanischer Garten Berlin
Date: 2023-05-11
Location: Botanischer Garten Berlin
Date: 2023-05-11
Location: Botanischer Garten Berlin
Date: 2023-05-11
Location: Botanischer Garten Berlin
Date: 2023-05-11

Date: 2018-03-26
Spring growth!
Location: central Illinois
Date: 2014-05-02
Location: CZ Sirem
Date: 2015-05-07
Location: CZ Sirem
Date: 2015-05-07
Location: CZ Sirem
Date: 2015-05-07
This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
  • Posted by Skiekitty (Denver Metro - Zone 5a) on Feb 28, 2013 2:28 PM concerning plant:
    Never trim this plant in the fall/winter. If you do, you will not get blooms the following year. Always, if you need to trim, do so right after it blooms in late spring/early summer. This plant blooms ONLY on old-wood, never new growth.

    If you're lacking in blooms, make sure that this plant gets a lot of moisture in the winter. Dry climates can prevent lilacs from blooming if they don't get a lot of moisture in the winter. The more snow/water they get in the winter, the more blooms you'll see. If we don't get snow, I always winter water my lilacs just like the trees. My neighbor has a lilac the same age/size and about 5 feet away from my lilac and you can tell that I winter water & they don't.. the blooms on their lilacs are very stingy whereas mine will be covered in blooms.
  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 1, 2014 8:48 PM concerning plant:
    Syringa vulgaris is a larval host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 1, 2012 3:53 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 5, 2019 7:44 PM concerning plant:
    The Common Lilac is native to southeast Europe and Asia Minor. It is a very common and well-known shrub in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, and the northern part of the South USA. While there are a large number of cultivars based on a range of flower colors from white to pink to magenta to various shades of purple, including blue-purple, and including single to double flowers, it is still the regular, light purple, single flowered, straight species that is sold the most from conventional nurseries, and then single white as the second most bought. This is the species that has the best, strongest fragrance and that makes a good cut flower. This upright, tall shrub can be trained to be more tree-like or more bushy depending on pruning methods. An older plant can be rejuvenated by cutting it low to the ground in early spring, though it will take a few years to re-bloom. It normally gets a lot of mildew on the foliage in late summer and early fall, and no fall color.
  • Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Oct 13, 2013 7:32 PM concerning plant:
    While the shrubs themselves are not overly pretty, nothing beats the scent of the spring blooms.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 16, 2013 8:24 PM concerning plant:
    New Hampshire's state flower.
Plant Events from our members
Chillybean On April 25, 2015 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
Killed by chopping it down before the next stinkers bloomed. Replaced with a native Serviceberry.
vanillabright On March 11, 2016 Bloomed
Buds on plant closest to house.
vanillabright On March 2, 2016 Plant emerged
Both Lilacs budding
WebTucker On April 17, 2022 Bloomed
antsinmypants On April 15, 2020 Obtained plant
ADF
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
What a beautiful photo by vic Jan 26, 2012 3:57 PM 2
Oh I can just smell it!! by Dutchlady1 Apr 21, 2012 11:56 AM 4
ŠeŘÍk by bamira Sep 19, 2014 10:08 AM 1
Pruning and other observations by jsf67 Jan 29, 2017 12:53 PM 0
Cat with red t-shirt by webesemps Jun 28, 2017 8:58 PM 23
Update by Paintedtrillium May 30, 2022 2:47 PM 0
Beautiful Lilac by Paintedtrillium Jun 2, 2022 7:13 AM 2

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