Lilac, Syringa vulgaris

shrub of the family Oleaceae
(Ash, Lilac, Olive tree, Osmanthe, Privet)

Etymology: "Lilac" comes from Arabic lîlak, itself coming from the nîlak Persian, which means bluish (derivative of the adjective Nile = blue). Its scientific name, Syringa, was given to it by Linné. It corresponds to Latin syringa, reed, and recalls the hollow stem of the lilac shoots.
Origin: Central and Eastern Europe. Many and very nice cultivars were created by the horticulturist Victor Lemoine (1823 - 1911). The name Lilac indicates cultivars in general.
Habitat: the Lilac grows naturally on coppice and abrupt slopes. It searches light and contents himself with a site in half shade.

Height: 7 m tall (shrub).
Shape: globose crown, on several trunks.
Bark: brown, cracked in fibrous scales.
Deciduous foliage. Simple, opposite leaves, triangular form, heart-shaped base, pointed apex. Length maxi: 12 cm, breadth maxi: 8 cm.
Flowers in May, white, lilac or purple, grouped in conical thyrses. Flowers include four petals, the corolla forming a long tube at the base.
Fruits: woody capsules.
Use: shrub of garden ornament, for its nice spring colours and its odorous flowers.

Main species
Syringa josikaea: Lilac of Hungary                                            >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
SYRINGA × PERSICA: Persian's Lilac.
Syringa reticulata: Lilac of Japan.
Syringa villosa: Downy Lilac (native to China).
Syringa vulgaris: Common Lilac.

Advices of planting and of maintenance:

The lilac can be planted in winter. Pruning is made just after the end of blossoming. It avoids that it takes too much wingspan or that a branch develops in an unbalanced way.


Songs on the lilac:
Vive la rose et le lilas, popular song of the XVIIIth century which would be native to the Poitou, song by Guy Béart (1960), Cora Vaucaire (1975), Nana Mouskouri (1978).
"Quand les lilas refleuriront" (When lilacs will flower again) (1890), words of George Auriol on a music of Désiré Dihau.
Quand refleuriront les lilas blancs (1929), song composed by L. Lelièvre threads, H. Varha and F. Doelle.
Lilas (1957), words and music of Georges Brassens.
The "Poinçonneur des Lilas" (1958), words and music of Serge Gainsbourg.
"Des jonquilles aux derniers lilas" (Daffodils to the last lilacs) (1968), words and music of Hugues Aufray.
Lilas (1970), poem of Louis Aragon put in music by Jean Ferrat.
"Un lilas pour Eulalie" (A lilac for Eulalie) (1974), words and music of Yves Duteil.
"Chanson pour tes yeux lilas" (Song for your lilac eyes) (1975), words and music of Michel Jonasz.
Henri Porte des Lilas (1982), words of Philippe Timsit and music of Jean-Louis d' Onorio.
La vie lilas of Serge Lama, words of Alice Dona.

Louis Aragon wrote a poem, Les lilas et les roses, in Le Crève-coeur, on 1941 and lilas.

You will find much more poems and songs on the lilac in this page.



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