clustering flowers of the common lilac
Photo: Courtesy White Flower Farm
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Common lilac

(Syringa vulgaris)

Hardy and trouble-free, these deciduous shrubs produce huge clusters of fragrant white, pink or purple flowers in mid to late spring. If you want something showier than your grandmother might have had, consider 'Sensation,' with purple petals edged in white. Varieties called French hybrids also have especially showy flowers. Descanso hybrids do well in mild-winter areas where standard lilacs bloom sparsely.

Grows up to 20 feet tall and wide. Does best in sun, or partial shade in hot climates, with regular water. Perennial in zones 3-8.
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