Tuesday, July 27, 2010

That isn't a Lilac, it just can't be.

Syringa pekinensis is a true master of deception.
So many of us are so used to the lovey French bred Syringas that we don't seem to stop and look at species forms. This lovely shrub, or small tree as it may tun out to be has some unique seasonal interest.Commonly called Peking Tree Lilac, or China Snow Lilac, this beauty has some added surprises that give it a multi seasonal interest. The foremost of these interests to is the unique cherry like bark,copper-colored and exfoliating, it reminds one of Acer griseum. This 'tree' has an upright habit with large pinnacles of white flowers in June. So think of it blooming a month later than your 'Frenchies.'

A strong point that really helps sell this lilac is that it is drought tolerant once you establish it. This can take up to five years, but will be so worth it in the long run.
For those of you in more Northern climates you should also know that it will tolerate some things like de-icing salt, but not poor drainage. Hardy USDA zone 4-7.