Lilacs symbolize love.

Aside from Roses, there is no flower as beautiful and aromatic as Lilacs (my Mother and others might respectfully disagree with the order here). Of the two, Lilacs have a stronger, more intoxicating scent which carries quite a distance.

Syringa (Lilac) is a genus of about 20 – 25 cultivated species of flowering plants in the olive family (Oleaceae).

In addition to the cultivated species of Lilacs, there are many more hybrids, and over 1,000 total varieties of Lilac bushes (along with a few varieties of actual trees).

The term “Lilac tree” can be mistakenly attached to any of the many varieties of Lilac bushes. Lilac shrubs/bushes grow from six to twenty feet tall. True Lilac trees, like the Peking tree Lilac and the Japanese tree Lilac, both from Asia, may reach heights over 30 feet.

Lilacs are native to Eastern Europe and Asia. The colonists brought them to America in the 17th century.

Lilacs can vary in shape and/or form. Some may be rounded, vase-like, tall and spreading, tall and straight or a combination of these shapes.

Flowering varies between mid-spring to early summer and, unfortunately, normally only lasts about three weeks or so, depending on the species and the weather (the warmer the spring, the earlier the blooms).

Lilac flowers span a wonderful array of colors (white, violet, blue, Lilac, pink, red, purple and some even bi-colored). Shades vary depending on weather (hot versus cool and dry versus wet), year, soil, environment and overall location differences.

Lilacs have pyramidal clusters of blossoms with both single and double varieties - all with glossy green leaves.

It is the cultivar and species of Lilac bush which affects the fragrance, NOT the flower’s color.

Although Lilacs display flowers among the most delicate of the ornamentals, the plants are among the hardiest. Some newer hybrid varieties can survive winter temperatures of -60ºF.

You prune Lilacs immediately after the enjoyment of the fragrant blossoms in the late Spring/early Summer.

Lilacs were grown in America's first botanical gardens. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew them in their gardens. Lilac bushes can live for hundreds of years, so who knows, a bush planted way back when may actually still be around… J

Thanks to my Mom (and the Internet) for most of the above.


Lilac House Bed and Breakfast                                
Enjoy the charm of MACKINAC ISLAND