Common Lilac

Syringa vulgaris cv.

[syringa_ vulgaris]

This southeastern European shrub has been in cultivation since the mid sixteenth century, and in North America since the 1700s. Jefferson first planted lilacs at his childhood home, Shadwell, in 1767 and, later, at Monticello in 1771. An ancient clump of purple lilacs, believed to exist from Jefferson's time, stands on the northern slope of Monticello. Many horticultural forms were developed in France during the mid-nineteenth century. Its large, extremely fragrant clusters of flowers bloom in mid to late spring with colors range from deep lavender to pink and white. Today it is estimated that over four-hundred clones exist in cultivation. The following are early French hybrids still available: double red 'Charles Joly' (1896); double white 'Edith Cavell' (1916) and 'Ellen Willmott'; double lilac 'Michael Buchner' (1885); double pink 'Katherine Havemeyer' (1922); singe reddish-purple 'Monge' (1913); double blue 'President Grevy' and single lavender-blue 'President Lincoln' (1916).

Growth Type: Woody Shrub Color(s): lavender pink white Hardiness Zones: 3 - 8 Location at Monticello: East Lawn and North Slope Planting Conditions: Full Sun Map it:

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Blooming Dates 2005: May 10 – May 192008: Apr 10 – Jun 62010: Apr 6 – May 102011: Apr 10 – May 312012: Mar 26 – May 172013: Apr 17 – May 17