Syringa is the botanical name for the more commonly known lilac bushes. Syringa comes in a range of flower colours and plant sizes, from dwarf sized to up to 30 feet tall, and is favoured for its highly fragrant blossoms. Syringa refers to a genus of about 25 different plants, all natives of Asia and Europe. Lilacs adapt to a variety of growing conditions, including heavy, well-drained soils.
Common Purple Lilac
Common purple lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is one of the most commonly planted lilac varieties. The plant is deciduous and grows to a mature height of 8 to15 feet with a 6 to 12-foot spread. The light purple flowers appear in the form of 5 to 6-inch long panicles during late spring. The dark green foliage is heart shaped. Common purple lilac grows best in areas of full sun and is used popularly as a screening plant. The fragrance of the flowers can be enjoyed even 100 feet away. Common purple lilac grows 1 to 2 feet per year.
Minuet lilac (Syringa ‘Minuet’) has whitish pink, fragrant, single flowers. The plant is compact in size and slow growing, with dark green, large foliage. Minuet lilac is best planted in areas of full sun and well-drained soil to flower prolifically. However, minuet also adapts to light shade areas. Minuet lilac adapts well to most soil types, preferring rich and neutral soils, and is not an invasive plant. Planting in full sun increases plant resistance against diseases. Minuet lilac grows to a mature height of 6 to 8 feet with a 4 to 6-foot spread.
Lilac Pocahontas (Syinga x hyacinthiflora ‘Pocahontas’) has single, deep purple-maroon flowers that are highly fragrant. The plant starts to blossom even when it is young. Lilac Pocahontas has an upright and vigorous growth habit with dark green foliage, and has an average water requirement. The plant grows best in areas of full sun and good air circulation. The lilac variety is used commonly in borders and as hedges. The plant grows to a mature height of 10 to 12 feet and attracts butterflies and bees.