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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):


Planting Site:

  • Residential and parks,
  • City parkway,
  • Wide median,
  • Under utility lines

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Tree


  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

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


  • Dry sites,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Road salt

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

Seasons 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.

Location of Syringa pekinensis 'Zhang Zhiming' (BEIJING GOLD™ Peking lilac) at the Arboretum