Botanical Name: Syringa reticulata
Common Name: Japanese Tree Lilac  
Plant photo of: Syringa reticulata
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Water Saving Tip:

Change spray sprinklers to low-flow bubbler or drip systems. Shrubs and trees are ideal candidates for this type of irrigation because the water is applied directly to the root zones.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type



Height Range

12-25', 25-40'


Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Dark Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season

Summer, Fall


Full, Half



Medium, Extra in Summer


Growth Rate



Soil Type

Clay, Loam, Rocky


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Well-drained, Moist


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors

Attracts Bees

Design Styles

English Cottage, Formal, Japanese, Ranch, Woodland


Accenting Features

Multi-trunk Tree, Showy Flowers, Silhouette, Specimen


Seasonal Interest



Location Uses

Background, Shrub Border, Foundation, Patio, Walls / Fences


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Hedge, Screen, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife

Birds, Butterflies

Information by: Stephanie Duer
  • Description

  • Notes

Japanese tree lilac is a tough plant grown as either a large shrub or small tree. In tree form, it typically grows to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide with an oval-rounded crown; as a multi-stemmed shrub, figure on 15 to 20 feet tall and wide. Its has showy, fragrant, creamy white flowers that bloom in upright, 12-inch long panicles in late spring to early summer (later than most other lilac species). Some gardeners dislike the privet-like smell of the flowers. Flowers give way to loose clusters of brown capsules that persist into winter. Reddish-brown peeling bark is attractive on younger branches, gradually turning gray with age. Sharply tipped, lanceolate to ovate, dark green leaves; no fall color.
Grow in well drained soil and full sun; will tolerate part shade but will bloom less profusely. Prefers loamy soils. As with other lilacs, if pruning is necessary, do so immediately after flowering.