Syringa × chinensis 'Lilac Sunday'
Common Name: lilac
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Oleaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Pale purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade, but best bloom is in full sun. Prefers organically rich, moist, slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils with good drainage. Needs good air circulation. Good tolerance for urban conditions. Prompt removal of faded flower panicles before seed set will increase the bloom in the following year. Prune as needed immediately after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Syringa x chinensis, commonly called Chinese lilac or Rouen lilac, is a cross between S. x persica and S. vulgaris. It is an arching, broad-spreading, deciduous shrub which typically grows 8-12’ (less frequently to 15’) tall. It was reportedly first discovered in Rouen, France in 1777. ‘Lilac Sunday’ is a fine-textured, willowy cultivar that is noted for its arching branching, disease resistant leaves and fragrant pale purple flowers. Small flowers appear in panicles at both the stem ends and from lateral buds in mid-spring (typically May in the St. Louis area). Ovate-lanceolate, medium to dark green leaves. No fall color.


No serious insect or disease problems. Leaves reportedly have good resistance to powdery mildew. Leaf-roll necrosis may occur. Flower buds are susceptible to frost injury in early spring.

Garden Uses

Effective as a specimen or massed. Shrub borders, foundations. Good screen or informal hedge for property lines.