Content Detail

Manchurian lilac is known mainly for the cultivar ‘Miss Kim’. Wonderfully fragrant lilac flowers that fade to light pink in spring. The ruffled foliage turns a purple-red fall color. More resistant to powdery mildew than other lilacs.

  • Family (English) Olive
  • Family (botanic) Oleaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Dry soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Purple
  • Shape or form Oval, Round, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Native geographic location and habitat:

This plant is native to China and Korea.

Attracts birds & butterflies:

Flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies

Bark color and texture:

Young stems are gray with prominent white lenticels. The gray stems change to tan on older stems.

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

Leaves are opposite, simple, and grow 2 to 5 inches long. They are elliptical to oval shaped with wavy margins. They are dull green leaves turning a reddish purple fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are fragrant, lilac-purple, and fade to pink.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Seeds are 1/2-inch warty capsule.

Plant care:

Manchurian lilac grows upright to oval in shape and reaches 5 to 9 feet high and 5 to 7 feet wide. Grows best in full sun in well-drained neutral soil, and good air circulation will prevent leaf disease problems. Flowers on old wood so if needed, prune immediately after flowering. Deer resistant and tolerant to aerial salts

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Leaf spots, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, cankers, and lilac borers are common problems.

‘Miss Kim’ (Syringa pubescens subsp. patula ‘Miss Kim’):  

A 6 to 8 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide cultivar that is an upright shrub with fragrant lavender flowers. It has a good resistance to powdery mildew.


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