Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) in the Lilacs Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Common Lilac
Give a thumbs up Lilac
Give a thumbs up French Lilac

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
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)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
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

#Pollination Red Admiral Butterfly

The ATP Top 50 Xeriscapic PlantsThe ATP Top 50 Xeriscapic Plants
July 19, 2014

Does xeriscapic mean boring and dry looking? Absolutely not! You'll never believe what beautiful blooms are available for the non-irrigated landscape. Come in and see.

(Full article7 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: ILDate: 2012-04-17#Pollination Red Admiral Butterfly
By molanic
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Location: West Valley City, UTDate: 2009-04-29
By Zencat
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Date: 2012-04-18
By Paul2032
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Location: Cedarhome, WashingtonDate: 2008-12-13 Seedheads left for the birds
By Bonehead
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Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my gardenDate: 2019-04-10
By chickhill
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Location: Orem, UtahDate: 2012-04-20At Sunriver Gardens
By Paul2032
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Location: Denver Metro CODate: Spring 2007The top of my \"big\" common purple lilac about 12' tall
By Skiekitty
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Location: Orem, UtahDate: 2012-04-20At Sunriver Gardens
By Paul2032
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Date: 2012-04-18
By Paul2032
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Date: 2014-04-28
By Paul2032
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Date: 2014-04-28
By Paul2032
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Location: Denver Metro CODate: 5/7/15Taken with full overcast in the early evening.
By Skiekitty
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 3-30-12
By jmorth
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-04-20full-grown regular Common Lilac
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-04-20flowers and leaves
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2009-12-20two shrubs in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Denver Metro CODate: Spring 2007My \"small\" common purple lilac about 5' tall
By Skiekitty
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Location: In my Northern California gardenDate: 2010-04-04
By zuzu
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Location: In my Northern California gardenDate: 2009-04-05
By zuzu
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Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.Date: 2008-05-11
By Joy
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Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.Date: 2009-05-04
By Joy
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Date: 2012-04-18
By Paul2032
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Date: 2012-04-18
By Paul2032
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Location: Holladay, UT
By Natalie
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Location: CZ SiremDate: 4000-05-08
By admin
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Location: CZ SiremDate: 2015-05-07
By admin
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Location: CZ Sirem My gardenDate: 2015-05-14
By admin
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-05-05
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 3-30-12
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-04-15
By jmorth
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Location: MassachusettsDate: 2016-05-19
By jsf67
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Image
By nmumpton
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Location: In my garden in Kalama, Wa.Date: 2008-05-07
By Joy
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-05-02
By jmorth
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Location: CZ SiremDate: 2015-05-07
By admin
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Location: CZ SiremDate: 2015-05-07
By admin
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Location: CZ SiremDate: 2015-05-07
By admin
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-04-15
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-04-15
By jmorth
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Location: Malvern, PennsylvainaDate: 2019-04-27full-grown shrub in bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-04-26full-grown shrub in bloom
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by Skiekitty (Denver Metro - Zone 5a) on Feb 28, 2013 2:28 PM

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.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 5, 2019 7:44 PM

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.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Apr 1, 2012 3:53 PM

Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.

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Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 16, 2013 8:24 PM

New Hampshire's state flower.

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Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Oct 13, 2013 7:32 PM

While the shrubs themselves are not overly pretty, nothing beats the scent of the spring blooms.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 1, 2014 8:48 PM

Syringa vulgaris is a larval host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies.

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Plant Events from our members
vanillabright On March 11, 2016 Bloomed
Buds on plant closest to house.
vanillabright On March 2, 2016 Plant emerged
Both Lilacs budding
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.
» 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
Plant ID - Lilac by lee30bmw Apr 25, 2019 4:15 PM 2
Banner for March 8, 2019 by TBGDN by TBGDN Mar 9, 2019 7:44 AM 16
Unknown bush by tinypiney Aug 25, 2018 6:05 AM 2
What species is this? 34 (Binomial name please) by NightCrow Jun 21, 2018 7:34 PM 14
What type of flower is this? by Heatherb413 May 27, 2018 6:07 AM 3
Osmanthus? by Galanthophile May 22, 2018 11:50 PM 2
Syringa vulgaris Edmond About by csandt May 14, 2018 10:01 PM 1
Syringa vulgaris Edmond Bossier by csandt May 14, 2018 10:02 PM 1
Syringa vulgaris Julien Gerardin by csandt May 14, 2018 10:04 PM 1
Syringa vulgaris Mme. Abel Chatenay by csandt May 14, 2018 10:06 PM 1

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