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A deciduous shrub up to 20 ft high; young shoots glabrous or nearly so, turning grey. Leaves oval-lanceolate, slenderly pointed, more or less abruptly tapered at the base, glabrous except for down beneath (especially on the veins), 3 to 7 in. long, about half as wide, dark green above, pale beneath; stalk 1⁄2 to 1 in. long. Panicle terminal, up to 12 in. long, opening in June; flower-stalks downy. Flowers lilac, fragrant; corolla 1⁄2 in. long, the lobes erect; anthers inserted half-way down the tube, primrose yellow. Calyx usually more or less downy, sometimes glabrous; cup-shaped, scarcely or not at all lobed. Seed-vessel 1⁄2 in. long, glabrous, blunt ended. Series Villosae.
Native of Korea and Manchuria; introduced about 1909. This handsome and very hardy lilac is related to S. villosa, which differs, however, in the corolla lobes being spreading and in the anthers being near the mouth. It is still more closely allied to S. josikaea, the Hungarian lilac, which has the same erect corolla lobes but has smaller anthers inserted even lower than those of S. wolfii. S. josikaea is not so vigorous, has smaller leaves paler beneath, and is not so handsome a shrub.