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Syringa vulgaris - L.                
Common Name Lilac, Common lilac
Family Oleaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Scrub on rocky hill slopes in Europe[50]. Found in hedges, thickets and shrubberies in Britain[17].
Range E. Europe. Occasionally naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Bloom Color: Lavender, Pink, Purple, White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Syringa vulgaris is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Syringa vulgaris Lilac, Common lilac
Syringa vulgaris Lilac, Common lilac
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers.
Edible Uses:

Flowers - raw or folded into batter and fried to make fritters[183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiperiodic;  Febrifuge;  Mouthwash;  Tonic;  Vermifuge.

The leaves and the fruit are antiperiodic, febrifuge, tonic and vermifuge[4]. The bark or leaves have been chewed by children as a treatment for sore mouth[257].
Other Uses
Dye;  Essential;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Rootstock.

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. Used in perfumery[171]. A green dye is obtained from the flowers[168]. Green and brown dyes can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A yellow-orange dye is obtained from the twigs[168]. Plants can be grown as an informal hedge[200]. 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[200].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Border, Standard, Seashore, Specimen. Succeeds in most soils, including chalk, but dislikes acid soils[11]. Prefers a deep stiff well-drained loam in a warm sunny position[11, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it does tend to sucker quite freely though[200]. There are many named varieties, developed for their ornamental value[182]. The flowers attract butterflies and moths[30]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Special Features: Not North American native, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.
Seed - sow March 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[K]. 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, June in a frame[200]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[200]. Layering in spring before new growth begins. Takes 12 months[78]. Division of suckers in late winter. They can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.
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Expert comment                                         
Botanical References                                         
Links / References                                         
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment                                         
Elizabeth H.
Etienne Van Rattingen Thu Apr 22 09:16:36 2004
coronairscleroses, angina pectoris, tachycardia, aritmic heart, decompensatio cordis.
Elizabeth H.
Dr. Sudhir Mestri Fri Jun 3 04:45:13 2005
If you can suggest me a supplier of genuine lilac flower oil (Syringa Vulgaris), please let me know. I am interested in buying the oil. You can send me the details on Thanks. Dr. Sudhir Mestri
Elizabeth H.
Deidre Wille Wed Apr 16 2008
Syringa vulgaris grows in zones 4b, 4a and 3b in the USA.
Elizabeth H.
Mon Apr 27 2009
They bloom in the spring
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Subject : Syringa vulgaris  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
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