New varieties of dwarf lilac

Written by kate carpenter
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New varieties of dwarf lilac
Dwarf lilacs let anyone enjoy the beauty and fragrance of this spring blooming shrub. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Lilacs are often thought of as an old fashioned bush and commonly found in landscapes of older homes. The sweet fragrance of the abundant blooms in the spring can be irresistible. For gardeners who do not have an area that will accommodate the 3 to 3.6 m (10 to 12 feet) a full-size lilac requires, dwarf lilac bushes are ideal. Dwarf lilacs grow to heights of 1.2 to 1.5 m (4 to 5 feet), and can be used as a hedge or grown in containers.

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Boomerang is a recent dwarf lilac hybrid, introduced in 2009, that is the result of cross between Syringa macrophylla and Syringa meyeri. With smaller leaves and an abundance of lavender-purple coloured blooms that are extremely fragrant, Boomerang will grow to 1.2 to 1.5 M (4 to 5 feet) tall with a 1.2 m (4 foot) span. Developed as a rebloomer, after prolific flowering in the spring, Boomerang will briefly rest, then bloom again in midsummer and continue until frost.


A relatively new dwarf lilac hybrid, Josee was initially introduced in 1976 by the Minier Nursery in France. Another cross between Syringa macrophylla and Syringa meyeri, Josee is a hardy rebloomer, with pinkish-lavender flowers in the spring, late summer and autumn. Growing at a moderately fast rate, the dwarf lilac reaches a height of 1.2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 feet). Trimming off spent blooms will increase continuous blooming.


With blue-pink springtime blooms, the Syringa meyeri "Palibin" or dwarf Korean lilac will spread wide, rather than grow tall. The bush is compact and lush with foliage and is often used for low hedges. Known for its abundant, highly fragrant flowers in the spring and easy care, Palibin dwarf lilacs are hardy in the UK. Since the latter part of the 20th Century, dwarf Korean lilac bushes have been grafted onto the trunk of a full-sized lilac to create a dwarf Palibin lilac tree. These attractive trees grow to around 2.1 m (7 feet) tall with the same attributes of the bush dwarf Palibin lilac in a small tree form, making them ideal for small landscapes and patio containers.


Syringa bailbelle "Tinkerbelle," sometimes spelt "Tinkerbell," is a dwarf lilac bush known to begin blooming at an early age. Receiving a U.S. plant patent in December, 2001, the dwarf Tinkerbelle bush will produce blooms in a pinkish-wine colour with an appealing spicy fragrance in the spring and occasionally again in the autumn. Tinkerbelle lilac bushes are uniform in growth, so shaping and pruning can be kept to a minimum. Hardy in the UK, Tinkerbelle will grow to 1,2 to 1.8 m (4 to 6 feet) tall with an equal width.

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