Syringa meyeri
Common Name: lilac 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Oleaceae
Native Range: Northern China
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pale lilac to violet purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Erosion


Easily grown in average, dry to 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. 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 meyeri, commonly called Meyer lilac or Korean lilac, was found growing in a garden near Beijing, China by Frank Meyer in 1909. It is not known to exist in the wild. It is a compact, rounded, slow-growing, deciduous shrub that matures to 5-8' tall and spreads to 10' wide. Pale lilac to violet-purple flowers bloom in small, dense terminal clusters (panicles to 3-4" long) in late April to early May (St. Louis area). Flowers are fragrant. Small, broad-elliptic to obovate leaves (to 2" long) are dark green. No fall color.

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 honors Frank Meyer who collected this plant in China in 1909.

Straight species plants are not commonly available in commerce, but S. meyeri 'Palibin' is both commonly sold and popular.


No serious insect or disease problems. Meyer lilac is extremely resistant to powdery mildew. Flower buds are susceptible to frost injury in early spring.


Effective as a specimen or massed. Shrub borders, foundations. Good screen or informal hedge for property lines. Meyer lilac is generally more attractive than many other species of lilacs due to its structure, floriferous bloom and mildew-resistant foliage.