Syringa oblata Lindl.

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

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'Syringa oblata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-05-26.



The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Bearing glands.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Syringa oblata' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2024-05-26.

A deciduous shrub, 10 to 12 ft high, or a small tree, similar in habit to the common lilac; young shoots glabrous, round; buds purplish. Leaves very broadly heart-shaped to reniform, often considerably wider than long, being 112 to 4 in. wide, 112 to 3 in. long, short-pointed, glabrous on both surfaces, stalk 34 to 1 in. long. Flowers pale lilac, produced at the beginning of May in short broad panicles, usually in pairs from the uppermost joints of the previous year’s wood. Corolla-tube 12 in. long, about 23 in. across the lobes; calyx slightly glandular, with pointed lance-shaped lobes. Seed-vessel 58 in. long, slender-pointed. Series Syringa. Bot. Mag., t. 7806.

Native of N. China; introduced by Robert Fortune from a garden in Shanghai in 1856. It is very closely allied to S. vulgaris, but is easily distinguished by the wider leaves and by flowering about a fortnight earlier. My experience of it is that it is the most unsatisfactory of all the lilacs except S. reticulata var. mandshurica. It is excited into growth by mild weather in early spring, only to have its young leaves and flowers destroyed by later frost. Probably in higher localities it may succeed better, for the shrub itself is perfectly hardy, and in climates with a much harder but more settled winter than ours flowers abundantly. The leaves turn red in autumn.

This is the species which is one parent of the early hybrids S. × hyacinthiflora. In addition to the original introduction, which is widely cultivated in N. China, other varieties have been introduced.

var. alba Hort. ex Rehd.

S. affinis L. Henry

A white-flowered form cultivated in N. China.

var. dilatata (Nakai) Rehd

Native to Korea and introduced by E. H. Wilson to the Arnold Arboretum in 1917. A spreading shrub with an open spreading inflorescence and flowers with a corolla tube of about {4/5} in., long and slender, and lobes which reflex on opening.

var. giraldii (Lemoine) Rehd

A native of northwestern China introduced by Rev. Giuseppe Giraldi as seed from Shensi in the 1890s. Of taller habit, the flower clusters are open and spreading as in var. dilatata and the corolla long and slender, although at most {3/4} in. long, but also with lobes that curl back.S. × diversifolia Rehd. – A hybrid which arose at the Arnold Arboretum in 1929 from open pollinated S. pinnatifolia and nearby S. oblata giraldii. The first clone produced, ‘William H. Judd’, is noteworthy mainly because of the novelty of its characteristic entire, pinnatifid or three- to five-lobed leaves. Its white flowers often open as early as mid-April at Kew, a fortnight or so before the start of the main lilac season.