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


‘Sensation’ (S. v. ‘Sensation’) was discovered by Dirk Eveleens Maarse (1881-1975) in Aalsmeer, Netherlands, in 1938 while forcing a crop of the lavender-flowered S. v. ‘Hugo de Vries’ in his greenhouses for the Christmas cut-flower market. Technically a “periclinal chimera,” this naturally occurring genetic mutation produced the first bicoloured lilac. Prune out any branches that don’t flower in two tones; Zone 3.


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