Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name

Genus: Syringa

Specie: S. vulgaris


English Name:


Common Name

lilac or common lilac

Botanical Family

Name in Latin: Oleaceae,

Name in English: olive family

The Plant

Origin: Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe,

Growth Habit: deciduous shrub

Flower: The flowers have a tubular base to the corolla 6–10 mm long with an open four-lobed apex 5–8 mm across, usually lilac to mauve, occasionally white. They are arranged in a dense, terminal panicle 8-18 cm long. The fruit is a dry, smooth brown capsule, 1–2 cm long, splitting in two to release the two winged seeds

Blooming Period: Spring early summer

Leaf: The leaves are simple, 4–12 cm long and 3–8 cm broad, light green to glaucous, oval to cordate, with pinnate leaf venation, a mucronate apex and an entire margin. They are arranged in opposite pairs or occasionally in whorls of three.


Frequently displayed alone in a vase, these beautiful blossoms are a wonderful accent in mixed spring arrangements.  Lilacs are short lived in floral foam.

Care and Handling

Lasting Quality: 5-10 days Varies widely.   Dependant on species and cultivar.  As a general rule, the greater the fragrance, the shorter the vase life

Amount of water: Immersion of the stem ends in boiling water for a few seconds is said to facilitate water uptake. the sap of fresh-cut lilac branches is said to reduce vaselife of other flowers so let them stand in water alone for a time before combining with other flowers.

Nutrition: text

Special handling: • Use anti-ethylene product. Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution. Do not pound stems because they are woody. • Premature wilting is not always due to microbes but rather to the plant itself producing a substance that blocks the stem not in the bottom portion like microbes but higher up in the stem. This substance is produced in response to ethylene and is therefore one reason for the anti-ethylene treatment recommendation.

Special feature/remarks:

Common lilac tends to flower profusely in alternate years, a habit that can be improved by deadheading the flower clusters after the color has faded and before seeds, few of which are fertile, form. At the same time twiggy growth on shoots that have flowered more than once or twice can be cut to a strong, outward-growing side shoot.
It is widely naturalised in western and northern Europe.[5] In a sign of its complete naturalization in North America, it has been selected as the state flower of the state of New Hampshire, because it "is symbolic of that hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State".[13] Additional hardiness, for Canadian gardens, was bred for in a series of S. vulgaris hybrids by Isabella Preston, who introduced many of the later-blooming varieties, whose later-developing flower-buds are better protected from late spring frosts; the Syringa x prestoniae hybrids range primarily in the pink and lavender shades