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Plant Identification: Texas lilac tree?

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Forum: Plant IdentificationReplies: 13, Views: 112
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sthrngardner
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 16, 2011
11:52 AM

Post #8567171

There is a beautiful tree growing behind the back fence here in Northeast Texas. It looks for all the world like it is covered with pink lilacs, but I can't find any information about varities that grow this big (about 20' tall) in northern Texas. Could this be a lilac, or is there another tree that grows here that might have this appearance? I'm sure it's not a crepe myrtle, nor is it a vitec, or whatever the genus of "Texas lilacs," because the flowers are very definitely pink to very light purple. The homeowner doesn't know what the tree is, as it was growing there when he moved in. Please help, because I would love to have one of these trees in my yard. Thanks so much!!
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 16, 2011
12:24 PM

Post #8567254

Does it resemble Vitex except for the flower color? There are at least a couple pink-flowering cultivars.
sthrngardner
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 17, 2011
10:07 AM

Post #8569287

Here is a picture taken today. Sorry it's not better, but the best I could do with my phone. I'm new to Texas, so don't know, but I think it's too early for Vitex to be blooming. The flower clusters are conical in shape, but the base of the cone is wider than pictures I have found of vitex varities, more like a lilac.

Thumbnail by sthrngardner
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 17, 2011
12:19 PM

Post #8569535

Hard to tell much from that picture unfortunately. My Vitex aren't blooming yet, but someone from somewhere in the south posted one somewhere on here a couple days ago and it was blooming so in some parts of the country it may not be too early (I want to say they were in TX but don't remember for sure)
MelGrow
Heidelberg, MS

May 17, 2011
8:19 PM

Post #8570697

Looks like a Texas Lilac Vitex to me. You may want to Google the following to match it with a few photos:
Mexican lavender.
Lilac Chaste Tree
Vitex LeCompte

Hope this helps in some way!!!
sthrngardner
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 17, 2011
8:50 PM

Post #8570736

Thanks to all for the help. I looked up some pictures of Vitex, Chaste Tree, etc., and although I didn't look at all of them, it looks like Vitex has long, slim leaves, like oleander. This tree has more rounded, almost heart-shaped leaves, like what we call red buds in Mississippi. But it's not a red bud! Does anyone know if lilacs grow in Texas? Well, I just found a picture and description of a lilac tree that looks exactly like the tree behind my fence. The description says that it's hardy through zone 7 (I'm in zone 8), and that it's highly susceptible to wind damage, and it's very windy here, but until someone tells me that lilac trees won't grow in this zone, I'm going to believe that's what it is.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 17, 2011
9:00 PM

Post #8570752

The reason lilacs are typically listed only to zone 7 is because most of them need a certain amount of winter chill in order to bloom. They can survive in warmer zones but won't bloom well. There are a few varieties that can bloom with less winter cold though. If you could get some better pictures (closeups of leaves & blooms) someone here could tell you for sure whether it's a lilac or something else.
Desertdenial5
Tolleson, AZ
(Zone 9a)

May 18, 2011
8:15 AM

Post #8571363

It would help if you cold use your phone to get a close up picture of the leaves and flowers.
nifty413
Garland, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 18, 2011
4:14 PM

Post #8572352

Looks like a Lagerstroemia / Crapemyrtle to me... They're starting to bloom in Garland, so I'd imagine the same would hold true for Carrollton.

Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris), generally speaking don't care for our relatively mild winters and hot summers. However, other species are worth a try if you're willing to pamper them a bit... like Syringa pubescens subsp. patula and Syringa x persica.

edited to add: I read your comment about it not being a crapemyrtle. Hope you can get some more photos posted soon! :)

This message was edited May 18, 2011 5:15 PM
sthrngardner
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 20, 2011
10:30 AM

Post #8575812

Thank you, nifty413! You may be right. As I said in the beginning, I'm new to this area. The flowers don't really look like the crapenyrtle I'm used to seeing in Mississippi, and I have several large crapemyrtles in the yard that aren't anywhere near blooming, but I'm sure there are different varieties. I am told that there are several of these trees blooming along Texas Highway 121, between Lewisville and Bedford, but as yet, I haven't seen them. Also, this "tree" is much more "treeform" than most crapemyrtles I have ever seen. Very full with a rounded shape, and as I said, it's at least 20' tall, but I can't get to where I can see the trunk(s). Will keep trying to get some better pictures.
pfherd
Corpus Christi, TX

June 22, 2011
5:06 PM

Post #8647781

I guess that kills that idea. I was wanting a texas lilac but if there's a problem with blooming i guess i have to pass. Iwas at a nursery here someone ordered 3 peach trees . they told him there is not enough cold days and it would'nt produce fruit. I learned something that day!! thanks for the info.


'c
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2011
6:13 PM

Post #8647891

"Texas lilac" is a name that I think some people apply to Vitex agnus-castus--it won't have any trouble blooming in your area. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/adv_search.php?searcher%5Bcommon%5D=&searcher%5Bfamily%5D=&searcher%5Bgenus%5D=vitex&searcher%5Bspecies%5D=agnus-castus&searcher%5Bcultivar%5D=&searcher%5Bhybridizer%5D=&searcher%5Bgrex%5D=&search_prefs%5Bblank_cultivar%5D=&search_prefs%5Bsort_by%5D=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search

If you want a true lilac (genus Syringa) those are the ones that for the most part need more chill than you'd get, but there are some low chill varieties available. The Descanso hybrids are one group I'm aware of that don't need as much winter chill but there may be others. I know here in CA we get enough winter chill for the Descanso hybrids to bloom so hopefully they'd be OK in your area too.
ogon
Paradise, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2011
7:31 PM

Post #8648055

I'm not sure what it could be, but it seems a little late for a Syringa to be blooming, even the late bloomers. My late bloomer stopped flowering a couple of weeks ago, and I'm guessing the flowering schedule would be similar farther South in TX...
ogon
Paradise, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2011
7:36 PM

Post #8648067

You know, one plant that looks similar to lilac, grows to tree form, can have pink flowers, and is blooming right now is Buddleia. Did you already look at pictures of that to see if it's similar? The very inside of each flower should be orange and the undersides of the leaves slightly greyish in all of the cultivars I'm familiar with.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/49901/

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