TREES & plants

Common lilac

 The common lilac is best known for its fragrant flowers, which make it a lovely shrub for a specimen planting, in masses, screens, hedges, or mixed in shrub borders.  Many cultivars are available with various colored flowers.

Botanical name: 
Syringa vulgaris
All Common Names: 
Common lilac, lilac
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Growth Rate: 
  • Medium
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Alkaline soil
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Fragrant
  • Other
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • White
Size Range: 
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Oval
  • Upright
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Hedge
  • Mixed border
  • Screen
Time of Year: 
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

Prune after flowering.

Disease, pests, and problems

The lilac is susceptible to pest and disease problems.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance


Native geographic location and habitat



Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife


Bark color and texture 


Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture


  • Color: medium green
  • Fall Color: yellow

Flower arrangement, shape, and size


Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions


Cultivars and their differences