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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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariales, family Oleaceae.
See D. Wyman, Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens (rev. ed. 1969).
Very fragrant flowers have a pungent, flowery, citrusy aroma and slightly bitter lemony taste.
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