Syringa × persica
Common Name: Persian lilac 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Oleaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 4.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Pale violet
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: 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. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. This is basically a sterile hybrid that should be propagated by softwood cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Syringa × persica, commonly called Persian lilac, is a hybrid that most likely resulted from a cross between S. afghanica and S. × laciniata. However, its exact parentage is uncertain. It is a compact deciduous lilac that typically grows to 4-6’ tall and to 5-10’ wide with upright, slightly-arching branching clad with lanceolate, dark green leaves (to 2.5” long). Sweetly-fragrant, pale violet flowers in small but broad panicles (to 3” long) bloom, often profusely, in May.

Genus name comes from the Greek word syrinx meaning tube or pipe in reference to the pith-filled but easily-hollowed stems of some genus plants.

Specific epithet means Persian.


Powdery mildew can be a significant problem with leaves often acquiring a white overlay in summer. Additional disease problems include blights, leaf spots, wilt and ring spot virus. Potential insect pests include scales, borers, leaf miners and caterpillars.


Effective as a specimen or in small groups. Shrub borders, foundations. Screen or informal hedge for property lines. Cottage gardens.