It's not surprising
that Lilacs are high on the list of most memorable flowers. Their
scent evokes flashbacks of Summers gone by. For many, Lilac flowers
remind them of a loving Grandmother or the last few days before
school let out for Summer vacation. A Lilac bush in your yard
can help create good memories for today's youth and bring back
a moment in time for the rest of us. Although the Lilac is one
of North America's favorite flowers it is not a native. Most
Lilac plants originated in Asia. Syringa Vulgaris our old fashion
Lilac bush was first found in the mountains of eastern Europe.
Longevity is a standard across the Lilac bush spectrum. Lilacs
are easily pruned and maintained. There are early, midseason
and late lilac cultivars.
The early Lilac bush plants, Hyacinthefolias, are very similar
to the old fashion and French Vulgaris hybrid cultivars. The
leaf and flower is almost identical but the early ones flower
earlier ! Here in mid Maine it's ten days to two weeks earlier.
Both have the true Lilacs scent.
Some cultivars of this family may bloom alternately light and
heavy year to year. Never the less their earliness to flower
and beauty make lilacs very desirable plants. Next the Syringa
Vulgaris Lilacs open their flowers. Both the Common and French
hybrid Lilac bushes are in this family. Growth habits of the
Syringa Vulgaris Cultivars vary widely. In this family are some
dwarf Lilacs and some very large growing lilac bushes. Most but
not all flowers are scented with that old fashion Lilacs fragrance.
The common purple Lilac bush is an aggressive grower.
Syringa Prestoni Lilacs Cultivars begin to open their flowers
just as the Common and French Hybrids are fading. It's nice to
have fresh flowers to continue the season for a couple more weeks.
Most of the later cultivars have a long narrow oval shape leaf
instead of the more familiar heart shape leaf of Vulgaris and
The florets on later Lilac flowers are
more elongated and tubular than Vulgaris or Hyacinthefolia.
Most of the Prestoni Lilac bush plants are scented but it's not
the traditional fragrance that we are use to. Light and flowery
would best describe the fragrance of the late lilacs. Here in
the Northeast the late Lilacs bloom in perfect time with Rosa
Rugusa Roses. Planted in close proximity to one another each
compliments the other.
By planting early, midseason and late
Lilac bushes you can enjoy these most favored Spring bloomers
for about six weeks.
There are several Lilac bushes that flower in between the time
of those already mention. Josikea, Meyeri Paliban and Syringa
Patula are each worthy and beautiful. The Josekia is a pink Lilacs
with large fluffy panicles and unusual large oval leaves..
Meyeri Paliban is better known as the Korean Dwarf Lilac. Growing
only five foot tall this one will fit into most home yards. It's
flowers are intensely fragrant. A naturally round shape growth
habit and round leaves distinguish the Paliban Lilacs.
Syringa Patula also known as Miss Kim lilacs has been used widely
in populated areas. Parking lots and shopping malls have all
benefited from this sturdy mid sized Lilac bush. The blossom
fragrance is mild and flowery. Last to bloom is the wonderful
Japanese Lilac Tree. After all the others have faded the Japanese
Tree Lilac lights up with fluffy creamy white flowers of heavenly
fragrance. In the evening it's scent drifts across the yard on
All the Lilacs make good specimen plants as well as hedges. A
minimum of 6 hours direct sun is needed for a Lilac bush to produce
flower buds. Eight hours or more of sunlight a day is best. Lilac
plants need a well drained location they do not like standing
in water. Alkalinity should be between 6 and 7