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Common lilac

  • Trees and Shrubs
Syringa vulgaris 'Merlyensis'
Photo: Espace pour la vie/Gilles Murray
Syringa vulgaris 'Marlyensis'.
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Marlyensis'.
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Heavenly Blue'.



Origin and description

Large shrub with upright branches. Smooth, stiff, greyish-brown branches. Heart-shaped leaves, pointed at the tip, smooth and light green. Simple flowers grouped in upright panicles, highly fragrant, lilac-coloured in old varieties, blooming in late May to early June. Fruit are long, brown capsules. Suckering roots. Several varieties known as French hybrids are more interesting than the species. These hybrids rarely grow to more than 3 m.

Common name

Common lilac, French hybrid lilac

Latin name (genus)

Syringa vulgaris

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Oleaceae

Growing conditions

Moderate to fast-growing. Grows best in full sun, but tolerates light shade. Prefers deep, slightly moist soil.

Easy to grow?

Easily transplanted.


This plant is popular for its blooms and fragrance. Grown in association with other plants in mass plantings, as a screen or naturalized. Attracts butterflies.


  • Zone 2b
Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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