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PlantFiles: Pekin Lilac, Peking Tree Lilac
Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Syringa (si-RING-gah) (Info)
Species: reticulata subsp. pekinensis

Synonym:Syringa pekinensis

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


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

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
By grafting

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By CaptMicha
Thumbnail #1 of Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis by CaptMicha

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #2 of Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis by Equilibrium

By mgarr
Thumbnail #3 of Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis by mgarr

By mgarr
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By rebecca101
Thumbnail #5 of Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis by rebecca101


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Jan 2, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Bloom time is late spring, after the Preston lilacs and a little before the tree lilac (S. reticulata), to which it's closely related. It has creamy flowers---white with a slight yellowish tinge---and a fragrance that reminds me much more of privet than of French lilac (S. vulgaris).

In comparison to the tree lilac, it's somewhat shorter and smaller, and more reliably multitrunked/suckering.

Its bark varies widely among the 9 accessions at the Arnold Arboretum. Some have a glossy olive or mahogany bark that exfoliates attractively like a paper birch, and others have a matt corky bark. Cultivars have been selected for bark quality.


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

Clermont, Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Brookeville, Maryland
Roslindale, Massachusetts

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