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Lilac - Fragrant Ornamental Flowers

The Lilac is one of the most fragrant ornamental bushes or shrubs around the world. It is in the family called Syringa. There are about twenty different varieties, but the classification of these different species can be complicated. The reason is there are so many growers cultivating different varieties.

This wonderful plant family is native to Asia and Europe and was brought to the United States in the 17th century. The most popular of this family is the Common or Syringa Vulgaris variety. The Common is known for is eloquent clusters of soft to deep rich purple - lavender tones. The Syringa family also comes in white, and pink.

Spring and summer are the prime times to view and smell this spectacular display of color.

Common Variety

Common Purple Lilac

Lilac Flower

Fragrant Beauty Lilac

Several years ago we lived in Rochester, New York. Many of us could not wait until the month of May rolled around. Highland Park and other areas of Rochester became a showcase for the Lilacs. There is a Highland Park Festival once a year. As soon as you enter the park, your senses became engulfed with the beauty and fragrance of these magnificent flowers.

Rochester is not the only home to this specie. Herbee also remembers as a child the different varieties lining along fences around neighborhoods in Schenectady, New York. The state of New Hampshire in the northeastern part of the United States has the Lilac as its state flower. Boston is also surrounded by this beautiful plant specimen in the spring and summer months.

These cultivators originally came from France, and the term, French Hybrid is used today to describe most of the common family. You can travel throughout Europe, Asia, and in zones three through seven in the United States to view this brilliant shrub family.

One of the wonderful aspects of this plant is its durability to withstand cold temperatures. This is one reason it does well in colder climate zones.

Lilacs grow best in full sun, alkaline, and well drained soil. They can mature up to twenty feet in height. If you are planning on enjoying this specie you will need room for this specimen to sprawl out for your enjoyment.

Pruning is not necessary. Keeping this shrub in its natural form, provides you with the constant richness of color year after year. You can go ahead and remove the dead flower heads after they are finished blooming.

The shrub is drought tolerant and can withstand windy conditions. One of the most popular garden settings for this plant is a cottage garden.

The plant is a great backdrop, and the larger tree varieties can be used for shade during the late spring and summer months. The different color tones gives this plant a focal point around other evergreen trees and shrubs.


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In zone seven where Herbee lives, there aren't as many varieties due to the warm summer months. The common variety will grow in this zone and one or two other varieties will survive in zone eight of the United States. The Lilac is to me one of the most vibrant and fragrant flowers that has been around for centuries.

Living in the southern United States, we have so many colorful and fragrant plant specimens. But we do miss the spring and summer beauty of this wonderful plant specimen.


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