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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.


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

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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
References in periodicals archive ?
We need to think about creating a separate zone for the lilac in the nursery, which is already growing in the Belgorod region.
The Lilac Fire, one of six major wildfires in the region, began along Interstate 15 and State Route 76 on Thursday morning and has continued to wreak havoc north of San Diego.
With both lace and applique florals, her chic dress with plain accessories makes her our fave lady in lilac.
Lilac and white make a pretty colour combination and it's a flattering choice on more mature skin.
Another point in lilacs favor is that deer do not seem to feed on lilacs.
I love lilacs but don't always like to cut my bushes up during their flowering season.
The four Lilac ladies, each with their distinct handbags, clothing, hairstyles and eyewear, have been friends for a long time.
33-1 Owner Haras del a Perelle Trainer Alain deR oyer-Dupre Jockey ChristopheS oumillon Groom MarjorieC onte Breeder Haras del a Perelle Distances 'l, 3/4l ANDRE FABRE'S star filly Golden Lilac lost some of her lustre as she sank in Newmarket's unseasonally soft surface yesterday, but the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes still returned across the Channel as Giofra stepped forward to claim the prize for France.
A GIRL called Lilac will hand the Queen a posy of flowers to welcome her to Birmingham.
THE latin name for the lilac genus is Syringa (often crops up in crosswords
On 24 November 2008, I, as President of Kawartha Branch, received a letter from the Township of Tyendinaga, Art Coordinator, Cynthia Guthrie and the Recreation Coordinator, Liette Forestell, that stated, "In the spirit of community, a group of dedicated volunteers have come together in hopes of creating a Heritage Tour as an addition to the already successful Lilac Tea Art Show that has been held for the past two years in the Township.