Syringa

Lilac

<i>Syringa</i> x <i>laciniata</i>

Few purple blossoms have so inspired people to lend their name to a particular tint: heliotrope, lavender, violet, and of course, lilac. Distinguished by its uniquely shaped dark green leaves, this elegant Chinese native fashions a graceful mound of lacy, deeply cut foliage and 3 in. long, loose panicles of fragrant, single, pale lavender flowers.

Very heat tolerant, the Cut Leaf Lilac is perfect for hot summer areas and makes an excellent textural companion when teamed with broader leafed shrubs.

Blooms May

Size: 6' 0" – 8' 0" high x 6' 0" – 8' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

<i>Syringa meyeri</i> ‘Palibin’

Few purple blossoms have so inspired people as to lend their name to a particular tint: heliotrope, lavender, violet and of course lilac. ‘Palibin’s profusion of delicately perfumed lavender-pink blooms bursts forth from dark purple buds. Polished leaves, deeply green and somewhat leathery, attire this small statured, close-knit twiggy shrub, whose diminutive guise can shape a handsome verdant hedge all by itself, with or without pruning, or become an alluring component for the rockery or a mixed border.

Perhaps the most dwarf of all Lilacs, this refined jewel should be planted in well drained soil and cut back after flowers are spent to ensure the following year’s bloom.

Blooms May.

Size: 3' 0" – 5' 0" high x 4' 0" wide.

Zone 3/4.

<i>Syringa</i> ‘Miss Kim’

Few purple flowers have so inspired people as to lend their name to a particular tint: heliotrope, lavender, violet and of course lilac. With a charming floral display that bridges the gap between spring and summer, ‘Miss Kim’ flaunts a profusion of powerfully scented pinkish purple blooms that fade to light pink and then to white. Autumn finds the handsome foliage emblazoned by stunning shades of burgundy and red.

Plant in well drained soil and maintain a pleasing shape by pruning between December and February.

Blooms May.

Size: 8' 0" – 10' 0" high x 4' 0" – 6' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

Hats off to the late Dr. Donald Egolf, who bred ‘Betsy Ross’ using a Chinese specimen of S. oblata and an unidentified Lilac from New York. For its bountiful supply of fragrant, fluffy-looking, snow white trusses, thick dark green deciduous leaves and compact rounded frame, this National Arboretum introduction merits a prominent spot in your garden.

Brimming with old-fashioned charm, ‘Betsy Ross’ wards off mildew, endures warmer weather and flourishes in a vast range of climates, from Minnesota to the deep south and both east and west coasts.

Blooms April.

Size: 8' 0" – 10' 0" high x 9' 0" – 11' 0" wide.

Zone 4/5.

Syringa

Tree Lilac

Promising year-round beauty, this small rounded Morton Arboretum selection debuts large fragrant creamy white flowers followed by open clusters of warm brown capsules, artful cinnamon-colored exfoliating bark and attractive dark greenery. Indigenous to northern China's hills and valleys, and named for the distinctive net veining or reticulata that embellishes its ovate leaves, cold-hardy Peking Lilac sculpts an upright multistemmed open frame with courtly arching branches. Ideal for urban settings, except those in the deep south, this star specimen triumphs over clay or deer, and readily flourishes where cool summers, adequate air circulation, average water and slightly acidic rich well-drained soil prevail. Large Band.

Blooms June.

Size: 15' 0" – 20' 0" high x 10' 0" – 15' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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