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Lilac
Oleaceae
Syringa vulgaris


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Shrub




Oleaceae Family

Syringa Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Common Lilac, Old Fashioned Lilac, Duck's Bill, Laylock, Lily Oak, Blue Persian Jasmine, and by Lord Bacon as lelach.


Location

Native to Eastern Europe

Physical Description
A shrub or small tree up to 20 feet in height producing a crowd of erect stems, occasionally a trunk over 2 feet in girth, clothed with spirally arranged flakes of bark. Shoots and leaves smooth, leaves heart-shape or ovate, 2 to 6 inches long, from 3/4 to almost as much wide near the base; stalk 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch long. Panicles pyramidal, 6 to 8 inches long, usually in pairs from the terminal buds, flowers fragrant; corolla tube 1/3 to 1/2 inch long; lobes concave; calyx and flower-stalks have gland tipped down; seed vessels smooth, 5/8 inch long, beaked.


Compare Species
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Oleaceae
Lamiales
Lamiales
Tounge Order (Mints)
Euasterids I
Euasterids I
Real Stars Group One
Asteridae
Asteridae
Class of Stars (Daisies)
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Lilacs in the United States date back to the mid 1750's. They were grown in America's first botanical gardens and were popular in New England. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew them in their gardens. Lilac bushes can live for hundreds of years, so a bush planted at that time may still be around. Lilacs originated from Europe and Asia, with the majority of natural varieties coming from Asia. In Europe, lilacs came from the Balkans, France and Turkey.

The lilac has lived close to man for centuries, with the common type introduced to Britain around 1560 and the Persian variety before 1614. Gerard called it "blew pipe privet" and described it as bearing "many smal floures in the form of a bunch of grapes. . .consisting of four parts like a little star, of an exceeding sweet savour or smell. . ." Any blossom that has five rather than four lobes is considered rare enough to promise good luck.

Medicinal Uses: The leaves and the fruit are antiperiodic, febrifuge, tonic, and vermifuge. Children have chewed the bark or leaves as a treatment for sore mouth

Used as a vermifuge in America and as a tonic anti-periodic and febrifuge; may be used as a substitute for aloes and in the treatment of malaria.

Food Uses: Flowers - raw or folded into batter and fried to make fritters

Other Notes: Green and brown dyes can be obtained from the leaves. A yellow-orange dye is obtained from the twigs. A green dye is obtained from the flowers

Rochester, N.Y. undoubtedly is the Lilac Capital of the World. It's love for Lilacs dates back to 1892 when Highland Park horticulturalist John Dunbar planted 20 varieties on the sunny southern slopes of the park. Highland Park in Rochester is the scene of an annual, two week long Lilac Festival, with over a half a million people attending the event each year. This park has over 500 varieties of lilacs and more than 1200 lilac bushes in the parks' 155 acres.

The purple lilac stands for "the first emotions of love" and the white for "youthful innocence."



Lilac
Panicle of flowers



Lilac
Panicle of flowers



Lilac
Bark



Lilac
A bush



Lilac
Leaves

Comment: Lilac, Syringa vulgaris

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