Plants - Trees and Shrubs

Natural beauty: May's evocative lilacs

Stephen Westcott-Gratton
Photography by
Andreas Trauttmansdorff

Prepare for the heady scent and lavish blooms of this spring garden staple


 The Rouen lilac (Syringa ×chinensis) is commonly touted as the first lilac hybrid, and was discovered in 1777 as a chance seedling in a Rouen, France, garden. A natural cross between the cutleaf and the common lilac, it’s heavily perfumed and hardy to Zone 3. Producing few suckers, and possessing good disease resistance, despite its botanical name it has no connection to China.


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