Content Detail

CHINA SNOW™ Peking lilac is a Chicagoland Grows® introduction that is both hardy and beautiful, with attractive, exfoliating, amber-colored bark and a rounded habit. It is a dependable urban tree and a great choice even for parking lots, boulevards, and parkway plantings.

  • Family (English) Olive
  • Family (botanic) Oleaceae
  • Planting site City parkway, Residential and parks, Under utility lines, Wide median
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small tree (15-25 feet), Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 20-30 feet
  • Mature width 15-25 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, White
  • Shape or form Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Wildlife Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Insect pollinators
  • Has cultivars NA

Native geographic location and habitat:

This is a cultivated variety of a non-native species. The species originates in China.

Bark color and texture:

The amber-colored bark peels and is attractive year round.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Heart-shaped leaves are in pairs (opposite) and are 2 to 4 inches long with an entire margin. Leaves are green in summer, turning yellow in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Large clusters of fragrant, creamy-white flowers in early summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit are small dry capsules held in large clusters.

Plant Care:

Tolerant of both acid and alkaline soil, but avoid wet sites. Fairly drought tolerant once it is established. Prune after flowering as it blooms on old wood. 

List of pests, diseases, tolerances and resistance:

No serious problems. This tree shows resistance to bacterial blight, powdery mildew, scale insects, and lilac borers.


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