Lilac caerulea (Jonst.) Lunell
Lilac cordatifolia Gilib.
Lilac suaveolens Gilib.
Lilac vulgaris (L.) Lam.
Liliacum album (Weston) Renault
Liliacum vulgare (L.) Renault
Syringa alba (Weston) A.Dietr. ex Dippel
Syringa albiflora Opiz
Syringa amoena K.Koch
Syringa bicolor K.Koch
Syringa caerulea Jonst.
Syringa carlsruhensis K.Koch
Syringa cordifolia Stokes
Syringa latifolia Salisb.
Syringa lilac Garsault
Syringa marliensis K.Koch
Syringa nigricans K.Koch
Syringa notgeri K.Koch
Syringa philemon K.Koch
Syringa rhodopea Velen.
Syringa versaliensis K.Koch
Syringa virginalis K.Koch
Common Name: Lilac
Syringa vulgaris is a deciduous shrub or a small tree that can grow up to 6 metres tall. Suckering at the base, the plant usually produces a cluster of erect stems, though sometimes just a single stem, that can be 20cm in diameter, is produced[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, and is sometimes cultivated, especially in the Ukraine, for the essential oil obtained from its flowers. It is widely grown as an ornamental in gardens, where it can be used to form a hedge.
Eastern Europe - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece
Scrub on rocky hill slopes in Europe[
]. Found in hedges, thickets and shrubberies in Britain[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Succeeds in most soils, including chalk, but dislikes acid soils[
]. Prefers a deep stiff well-drained loam in a warm sunny position[
]. Dislikes poorly drained soils[
A very ornamental plant[
], it does tend to sucker quite freely though[
There are many named varieties, developed for their ornamental value[
], and some in the Ukraine that have been developed for their essential oil[
The flowers attract butterflies and moths[
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
Flowers - raw or folded into batter and fried to make fritters[
The leaves and the fruit are antiperiodic, febrifuge, tonic and vermifuge[
The bark or leaves have been chewed by children as a treatment for sore mouth[
Plants can be grown as an informal hedge[
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. Used in perfumery[
A green dye is obtained from the flowers[
Green and brown dyes can be obtained from the leaves[
A yellow-orange dye is obtained from the twigs[
The plant is often used as a rootstock for the various ornamental cultivars of lilac. Its main disadvantage is that it can sucker very freely[
Seed - sow early spring in a north facing cold frame. Pre-treating the seed with 4 weeks warm then 3 weeks cold stratification improves germination. It is probable that sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame would be a more reliable method[
]. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Plant them out in the summer if sufficient growth has been made, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant out in late spring of the following year.
Cuttings of young shoots, 7cm with a heel, early summer in a frame[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame[
Layering in spring before new growth begins. Takes 12 months[
Division of suckers in late winter. They can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.