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The Plant Guide

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Cut-leaf lilac

Syringa × laciniata

This graceful hybrid produces fragrant, pale lilac flower clusters up to 4 inches long in late spring. The difference this lilac offers is its airy, finely textured foliage. It forms a spreading shrub 6 feet to 8 feet tall and wide.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsFragrant flowers; finely textured foliage.

CareGrow in reasonably fertile, well-drained soil in full sun; prefers neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Promptly deadhead spent blossoms to produce more robust blooms for the following year. Prune lightly in late winter or early spring to maintain a healthy framework, remembering that most species form flowers the previous season. Plant in areas with good air circulation to thwart disease.  Because lilacs are fire retardant, they can be considered for planting near homes that are susceptible to wildfires. Most lilacs require a period of chilling dormancy.

PropagationTake softwood cuttings or layer in early summer. Graft in winter; bud in summer.

ProblemsPowdery mildew, dieback, leafroll virus, mycoplasma-like organisms (MLO), root knot nematode, Verticillium wilt, witches' broom, bacterial leaf spot, anthracnose, borers, scale, caterpillars.

  • Genus : Syringa
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Characteristics : Attracts Hummingbirds, Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
View Comments


  1. 1digger 06/10/2016

    Word of caution about the description. While researching this lilac, there are several sites that make mention that this variety is remarkably free from the usual problems like powdery mildew and is one that can take more shade than most lilacs. My guess is that due to its small, split leaves, it receives more airflow in and around the branches, thus lessening the effects that can lead to the typical problems with lilacs.

    if we had room for one, we'd be planting one for sure as it was quite a specimen to behold at the nursery. It's sure to be a show stopper as it becomes more widely available.

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