Chinese Tree Lilac

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

More of a large bush than a tree perhaps. I have many. Interesting, peeling bark. Not sure of the correct name/species. This one does set seed but I have not tried to see if they are sterile or not yet. About 12 foot tall. Going crazy right now with white flowers. Blooms after all the native Tree Lilacs and/or common Tree Lilacs around here have stopped. Does have a nice smell. Just thought I'd share. No one around here has even heard of them. Gene

Anyone live close by, I have many, many extra plants.

This message was edited Jun 30, 2013 10:21 AM

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)


You are describing Syringa pekinensis (Chinese or Pekin Tree Lilac), which is a relative of the more commonly planted (some places) Syringa reticulata (Japanese Tree Lilac). It is an exceptional addition to the garden as a summer blooming large clump/shrub or smaller tree.

Not sure that there are any native Lilacs to North America - but it may seem like it where the plant is used a lot. The Japanese Tree Lilac is becoming a staple plant for urban plantings (especially under power lines) due to its tolerance of heat/drought and resistance to pests.

I like the exfoliating bark on Syringa pekinensis 'China Snow'.

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Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

Yes, that is what my bark looks like, though on a smaller tree (so far.) Thanks.

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

The reason I have so many is that last year (or was it 2 Springs ago?) I dug up some ot give to a neighbor and some to move for myslef. For every tree I removed 3-6 new sprouts came up. And they grow quickly. Gene

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I had a syringe pekinensis Ivory Silk which died suddenly a few years ago.
It was fairly mature, maybe 20ft tall. I have no idea why it died.
It went from totally normal to obvious death spiral within a few weeks.
But I have dozens of suckers coming up around it's base.
I've never been super-enthralled with the floral display,
as flowers start to 'brown-out' fairly soon after opening.
I have left a single sucker which I haven't cut down - a little conflicted to whether it's worth saving.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

'Ivory Silk' will be a selection of Syringa reticulata.

You must have been treating it too well. Give it a spot surrounded by concrete or asphalt, and watch it revel.

Here's one of mine (of two, the same age/size) at the Valley...this has been about their best flowering year. These originated as 1 gallon plants, about a foot or so tall nearly 20 years ago.

They provide a nice foil to the fine Klehm Group collection of Viburnum dentatum in which they reside.

Thumbnail by ViburnumValley Thumbnail by ViburnumValley Thumbnail by ViburnumValley

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