Syringa- Lilac

Deciduous shrubs with large, scented flowers.

Situation:

The modern hybrids can be kept compact by pruning and are therefore suitable for the average garden; excellent for cutting.

Soil:

Nutritious, humus-rich soil, not too dry. Pruning In order to maintain a compact shape, branches that have finished flowering should be cut back quite drastically; an old shrub which has become bare at the base may be cut down almost entirely. Dead blooms must in any case be removed.

Propagation:

Hybrids are increased by budding on seedlings of the common lilac.

Syringa X chinensis, Rouen lilac: A hybrid more than 1.5 m in height, bearing purple flowers in loose clusters in late spring. In ‘Alba’ the flowers are white. Syringa josikaea, Hungarian lilac: Height 3-4 m; deep-violet flowers in long, narrow plumes in early to mid summer. The buds are brown red in colour, the foliage is almost white on the reverse. There are cultivars in reddish colours.

Syringa microphylla: Height to 1.5 m; flowering season early summer. In ‘Superba’, flowering lasts from late spring until mid autumn, the flowers being rose red, but subsequently fading. The oval leaves do not exceed 4 cm in length.

Syringa reflexa: Height to 3 m, erect habit; arching plumes of deep-pink flowers, somewhat paler inside, in early summer. Very beautiful, and quite hardy. Syringa X swegiflexa: Height to 3 m; a hybrid including the previous species among its progenitors. The flowers are dark-red when in bud, later deep pink and finally paler.

Syringa vulgaris, common lilac: Height 4-7 m; flowering season late spring. The best hybrids, purple single-flowered, are ‘Andenken an Ludwig Spath’ and ‘G. J. Baardse’; purple-red double: ‘Charles Joly’, ‘Mrs Edward Harding’ and ‘Paul DeschaneP; violet single: ‘Mme Charles Souchet’ and ‘President Lincoln’; violet double: ‘Katherine Havemeyer’, ‘Leon Gambetta’ and ‘Olivier des Serres’; white single: ‘Mont Blanc’; white double; ‘Mme Lemoine’, ‘Miss Ellen Willmott’ and ‘Monique Lemoine’.

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