Syringa × hyacinthiflora 'SMNSHSO' SCENTARA PURA

Common Name: lilac 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Oleaceae
Zone: 2 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pale lavender
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil


Best grown in evenly moist, well-draining soils in full sun. Tolerant of clay soils as long as they are not consistently wet. The stems tend to become leggy and less vigorous without diligent pruning. Prune the stems by around a third after blooming. Hardy in Zones 3-7.

'SMNSHSO' offers improved cold tolerance while also requiring a shorter chilling period for good blooming compared to the parent hybrid. Suitable for Zones 2-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Syringa × hyacinthiflora is a hybrid lilac produced by crossing S. oblata and S. vulgaris that was developed by French plant breeder Victor Lemoine (1823-1911). They are characterized by their early flowering habit, bronze-tinted new growth, and fragrant blooms. Mature plants will reach around 12' tall with a similar spread. Young plants have an upright growth habit but become more spreading to rounded with age. The flower clusters are 4-5" long and bloom in mid-spring (April-early May in the Northern Hemisphere depending on the climate), around one week before S. vulgaris. The blooms can be single or double, and come in a range of colors including white, pinks, and purples.

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.

The hybrid name hyacinthiflora refers to the flower clusters of this hybrid which are reminiscent of hyacinth blooms.

'SMNSHSO' is a vigorous, semi-dwarf, hybrid lilac with fragrant, pale lavender blooms in spring. Mature plants will reach 4-6' tall with a similar spread. The terminal panicles will reach around 5" long and 4" wide. Commonly sold at nurseries and garden centers under the name SCENTARA PURA. This plant is protected by patent number PP31119.


This hybrid suffers from many of the same diseases and pests as its species parents, including powdery mildew, leaf spot, blights, wilts, ring spot virus, scale, borers, leaf miners, thrips, and caterpillar feeding. Deer tend to avoid this plant.

'SMNSHSO' reportedly offers improved resistance to powdery mildew.


Effective as a specimen or massed. Shrub borders, foundations. Good screen or informal hedge. Suitable for use in fresh-cut flower arrangements.