FIELD GUIDE TO SHRUBS

Lilac
Syringa x prestoniae

Family: Oleaceae

Preferred Habitat: does best in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, and chalky soil types

Range: mainly a cultivated specimen

Height: up to 2.5 meters (8 feet)

Leaves: simple, opposite, elliptic-ovate with undulating leaf margin, typically red-purple along margins of younger leaves, often has sand-papery texture

Flowers: lilac blooms appear in 10 cm panicles in early to mid-May, flowers emitting a subtle fragrance

Fruit: 2 cm capsule

Location spotted: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Extra information: named after Isabella Preston, horticulturist of the Canadian Experiment Station who made many crosses of lilacs