Quick Notes /
These airy flowers grow on short trees that are actually part of the olive family. They range in shade from white to dark purple and have a sweet fragrance often associated with spring. “In the language of flowers, purple lilacs symbolize the first emotions of love, while white lilacs represent youthful innocence.”
Visual Notes /
Depending on the variety, Lilacs will grow from 2m to 10m in height. Their most distinctive feature is the mass of delicately-scented blossoms that are produced in the spring. Although each individual flower is small, they grow in clusters to produce an abundant display of blooms. Colours include white, pink and, of course, lilac.
In 1563, lilacs were taken by a visiting scholar-ambassador to the court of Austria. A few years later, the same man took lilacs to Paris. They were soon being passed from garden to garden throughout Europe. Early settlers brought lilacs in their baggage to North America. Happy with our climate, lilacs readily naturalized and by the mid-1600s were common throughout the colonies.
Inside Info /
- Lilacs require a period of cold-initiated dormancy to flower
- “The common name lilac is from the Arabic word laylak or the Persian word nylac both which mean blue.”