Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Syringa vulgaris L.

Fully-hardy, spreading shrub or small tree, with heart-shaped leaves, to 10cm long, and dense, conical panicles, to 20cm long, of small, single or double, fragrant lilac flowers in spring.  To 7m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The common lilac, now so plentiful in every plantation, was a great rarity in the year 1597.’  [Don].  By 1792 Curtis’s Botanical Magazine could comment: ‘Few shrubs are better known in this country than the lilac, few more universally cultivated; there is scarcely a cottage it does not enliven, or a shrubbery it does not beautify.’  blue, white and purple-flowered forms were recorded, the latter with larger flowers.  [BM t.183/1792].  Flore des Serres figures a garden form called ‘Dr. Lindley’.  [FS f.1481-1482/1859].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.951/1843].


Published Jan 20, 2010 - 04:24 PM | Last updated Jan 20, 2010 - 04:31 PM

Figured are dense, conical panicles of small, single star-shaped rosy-pink flowers.  Flore des Serres f.1481-1482, 1859.

Syringa vulgaris L. ‘Dr. Lindley’ | FS f.1481-1482/1859 | BHL

Family Oleaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Europe

  • Lilac coerulea Lunell
  • Syringa coerulea Doct.v.Leeuwen
Common Name

Common lilac

Name in the Camden Park Record

Syringa vulgaris - Common lilac 

Confidence level high