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Syringa vulgaris Charles Joly



Clusters of fragrant dark purple double flowers

This lilac produces dense clusters of double flowers varying between a dark reddish-purple and a lighter plum colour in spring. These flowers have a wonderfully strong yet sweet fragrance. The leaves are heart shaped.


Wonderful for attracting wildlife such as bees and butterflies, it prefers a sunny spot in the garden.


Plant out in most soil types, with best results from soil that is moist and well-drained. To encourage new growth, carefully prune away fading blossoms. Will throw up suckers if pruned hard.

This plant can cope well with alkaline soils, very useful when the ground has recently been disturbed by building work.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available March - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer
Flowering May - June
Evergreen No
Plant height 400 cm - 750 cm
Plant width 340 cm - 400 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 190 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Clay, Loam, Light sand
Light exposure Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained, Medium
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, City garden, Courtyard garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From March to September