Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Common Lilac, French Lilac
Syringa vulgaris 'Charles Joly'

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Syringa (si-RING-gah) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Charles Joly

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
By grafting
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral akweldon On Apr 14, 2012, akweldon from Warsaw, KY wrote:

FYI For anyone interested in purchasing this lilac, The Home Depot carries it in a 3 gal. size for $19.98.

Positive JenDion On Apr 1, 2011, JenDion from Litchfield, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Quite hardy and survives neglect and transplanting. Multi-florette in interesting purple/red shade with a darker colored bud.

Positive hart On Apr 25, 2009, hart from Shenandoah Valley, VA wrote:

I love the color of this lilac. It is a very dark purple with just a touch of red. Mine is fragrant although I've found all of my lilacs' fragrance can vary from year to year.

Mine was planted about nine or 10 years ago and has never suckered. It's a fairly slow grower too.

Positive 433kfj On Dec 30, 2004, 433kfj from klamath falls, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

We have one type of dark-purple lilac with flowers larger than average, and displays a bright-yellow center when fully opened. The petals aren't yellow, just the stamens, but they contrast so much with the purple that they are quite noticeable. It is an old variety ( my parents bought the house in '63 and the bush was probably planted in the '40's) The problem is, it doesn't have much fragrance, and suckering isn't a problem, ( unlike the lavender ones around it that smell to beat the band but sucker all over the place.) so I have no idea how to get a start. I would like to propegate this one because the flowers are so beautiful even-though they have no smell, pluse the fact that it doesn't sucker, which is a good thing to most people, but means it is not as easy to share as the common lavender kind.

Neutral feedingfrenzy On Jun 11, 2004, feedingfrenzy from Enumclaw, WA wrote:

I have been searching for a deep purple French Lilac tree and have been told by many nurseries that they are not available. Any information on where to get one would be so very, very much appreciated. It is my favorite tree, blooms are very dark and fragrant and the blooming season lasts a long time compared to the other lilacs I have. Thanks much. I live in Washington State. Love, Jil


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Boise, Idaho
Litchfield, New Hampshire
Belfield, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Logan, Utah
Fort Valley, Virginia
Monroe, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

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