lilac


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lilac,

any plant of the genus Syringa, deciduous Old World shrubs or small trees of the family Oleaceae (oliveolive,
common name for the Oleaceae, a family of trees and shrubs (including climbing forms) of warm temperate climates and of the Old World tropics, especially Asia and the East Indies.
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 family), widely cultivated as ornamentals. Since colonial days, the common lilac has been in America one of the best loved of the flowering shrubs, meriting its favor by its cone-shaped masses of lavender or white flowers, its fragrance, and its ease of cultivation. Some cities (e.g., Rochester, N.Y.) have lilac festivals. The purple flower clusters are the floral emblem of New Hampshire. From this old-fashioned common lilac (S. vulgaris) and others, many hybrids have been developed with variations in form (such as double flowers) and in color (such as rosy pink and white). These hybrids, which may lack the fragrance of the common lilac, are often called French lilacs because much of the pioneer hybridizing was done in France. The most famous use of the lilac in poetry is Whitman's elegy on Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." The lilac should not be confused with the unrelated mock orange (of the saxifragesaxifrage
, common name for several members of the Saxifragaceae, a family of widely varying herbs, shrubs, and small trees of cosmopolitan distribution. They are found especially in north temperate zones and include many arctic and alpine species.
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 family), which is sometimes also called syringa; both plants are sometimes called pipe tree. Lilacs are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariales, family Oleaceae.

Bibliography

See D. Wyman, Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens (rev. ed. 1969).

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lilac

lilac

Very fragrant flowers have a pungent, flowery, citrusy aroma and slightly bitter lemony taste.

lilac

1. any of various Eurasian oleaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Syringa, esp S. vulgaris (common lilac) which has large sprays of purple or white fragrant flowers
2. a light or moderate purple colour, sometimes with a bluish or reddish tinge
References in classic literature ?
It was when the great lilacs and laburnums in the old-fashioned gardens showed their golden and purple wealth above the lichen-tinted walls, and when there were calves still young enough to want bucketfuls of fragrant milk.
McCay was the sort of man who keeps old ball programmes and bundles of letters tied round with lilac ribbon.
The bridesmaids' eight bouquets of white lilac and lilies-of-the-valley had been sent in due time, as well as the gold and sapphire sleeve-links of the eight ushers and the best man's cat's-eye scarf-pin; Archer had sat up half the night trying to vary the wording of his thanks for the last batch of presents from men friends and ex-lady-loves; the fees for the Bishop and the Rector were safely in the pocket of his best man; his own luggage was already at Mrs.
There were damask Roses, and yellow Roses, lilac Crocuses, and gold, purple Violets and white.
There was a good deal going on in the Baby Walk, when Maimie arrived in time to see a magnolia and a Persian lilac step over the railing and set off for a smart walk.
He crouched entirely concealed by a great lilac bush, which many times before had hid his traitorous form.
There is no honeysuckle over the windows, but there is a lilac tree by the gate, and -- yes, there are the muslin curtains in the windows.
He caught a breath of lilac scent from a closed florist's shop.
The perfume from the great clusters of yellow daffodils and violets floated up from the flower sellers' baskets below; the fresh, warm air seemed to bring him poignant memories of crocus-starred lawns, of trim beds of hyacinths, of the song of birds, of the perfume of drooping lilac.
It was the same with the wild lilac, which Daylight had sent to him from Mendocino County.
I gave her a spray of lilac, I remember, and you gave her a franc.
Peg Bowen is a queer sort of yellowish green and the Awkward Man is lilac.