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SYRINGA villosa

Image of Syringa villosa

Jesse Saylor

Family

Oleaceae

Botanical Name

SYRINGA villosa

Plant Common Name

Late Lilac

General Description

Few lilacs bloom as late in the season as the super hardy late lilac. This northern Chinese native produces conical upright clusters of purplish-pink or white blooms at the tips of the current season's growth. The fragrant tubular flowers open more than a week or more after those of common lilac (Syringa vulgaris). Green seed capsules follow, which change to dark brown by midsummer. Mature specimens reach medium height and develop an upright, rounded habit. Its sandy-brown stems support oval, deeply veined, dark-green leaves that do not produce any notable fall color.

Grow late lilac in full to partial sun and well-drained, mildly acid to mildly alkaline soil. Plants are most floriferous and least lanky when grown in full sun. With its exceptional cold hardiness, this is among the few lilacs that succeed in areas with severe winter cold, such as the northern Great Plains. In fact, cold winters, as well as moderate summers, are required for best growth and flowering. Pruning is typically done after flowering. Remove the seedpods to improve appearance through summer.

Like most lilacs, this species is susceptible to powdery mildew, especially in humid, droughty weather conditions. Use it as a screen, hedge or individual specimen shrub. It can be trained as a multi-stemmed, small tree. Plant it near a path or patio, where its perfumed flowers can work their magic.

Late lilac is perhaps best known as a parent of the well-loved Preston hybrid lilac, Syringa x prestoniae.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-12' / 1.8m - 3.7m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Pink, Light Pink, Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Yellow Green, Brown

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No