Content Detail

Manchurian lilac is known mainly for the cultivar ‘Miss Kim’. Wonderfully fragrant lilac flowers 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
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 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. Older stems change to tan.

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. Dull green leaves turn 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 capsules.

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. Good air circulation will prevent leaf disease problems. Flowers on old wood so, if needed, prune immediately after flowering. 

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Leaf spots, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, cankers, and lilac borers are common problems. Deer resistant and tolerant to aerial salts.

‘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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