TREES & plants

BEIJING GOLD™ Peking lilac

BEIJING GOLD™ Peking lilac in fall color.

This cultivar has creamy-yellow flowers; attractive, cinnamon-colored bark; and unique yellow-gold fall color. The Peking lilac is a dependable urban tree and a great choice even for parking lot, boulevard, and parkway plantings. Native to Asia, it is both hardy and beautiful, with attractive, amber-colored, peeling bark.

Botanical name: 
Syringa pekinensis 'Zhang Zhiming'
All Common Names: 
BEIJING GOLD™ Peking lilac
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Planting Site: 
  • Residential and parks, 
  • City parkway, 
  • Wide median, 
  • Under utility lines
Landscape Uses: 
  • Parkway/street, 
  • Specimen, 
  • Utility
Size Range: 
  • Small tree (15-25 feet)
Mature Height: 
15-20 feet
Mature Width: 
10-15 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Alkaline soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Intolerant
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Summer blossoms, 
  • Fall color, 
  • Fragrant flowers, 
  • Showy fruit, 
  • Showy flowers, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Early summer, 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant, 
  • Yellow
Shape or Form: 
  • Round
Growth Rate: 
  • Moderate
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
  • Butterflies, 
  • Hummingbirds, 
  • Insect pollinators
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Tolerant of both acid and alkaline soil.  Avoid wet sites.
Fairly drought tolerant once it is established.
Prune after flowering.

Disease, pests, and problems

No serious problems.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

This tree shows resistance to bacterial blight, powdery mildew, scale insects and lilac borers.

Native geographic location and habitat

This is a cultivated variety of  species that is native to China.

Bark color and texture 

Bark is cherry-like in appearance.  Bark is shiny and cinnamon-colored.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Heart-shaped leaves are in pairs (opposite); 2 to 4 inches long with an entire margin.
Leaves are green in summer, turning yellow in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Large clusters of fragrant, creamy yellow flowers in early summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit are small dry capsules held in large clusters.

Syringa pekinensis 'Zhang Zhiming' or BEIJING GOLD™ Peking lilac