Common Lilac Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
lilac 'Vestale'


The common name for Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale' is common lilac 'Vestale'. This particular variety is prized for its stunning floral display and rich fragrance. It possesses a robust shrub-like appearance with a multitude of branches that form a dense, lush structure. During its blooming season, which typically occurs in the spring, 'Vestale' is adorned with enchanting panicles of flowers that are notable for their creamy white color. These blossoms are composed of many small four-petaled florets that cluster together to create the larger cone-shaped flower head, emitting a sweet and heady scent that is often associated with the nostalgia of a bygone era. The foliage of the common lilac 'Vestale' is notable for its dark green hue, with leaves that are heart-shaped to broadly oval, providing a vivid backdrop against which the purity of the white blossoms stands out. As autumn progresses, the leaves may turn to a subdued yellow before falling off as part of the plant's natural life cycle. The allure of this plant is not only in its blooms and fragrance but also in the structural interest it provides to a garden setting. With its dense clusters of flowers and heart-shaped foliage, 'Vestale' is often favored by gardeners looking to add a touch of classic beauty to their landscape designs.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Common Lilac, French Lilac.

    • Common names

      Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common lilac is generally considered to have low toxicity to humans. However, ingesting parts of the plant, such as leaves or stems, could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset, including symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is advisable to refrain from consuming any part of the common lilac.

    • To pets

      The common lilac is typically not considered highly toxic to pets. Although it is not common for pets to be poisoned by this plant, if ingested in large quantities, it might cause mild gastrointestinal upset, evidenced by symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. As with any non-food plant, it's best to prevent pets from ingesting it to avoid any potential discomfort.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Spread

      10 feet (3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: The Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale', commonly known as the common lilac, adds ornamental value to gardens with its attractive, fragrant white flowers.
    • Landscape Versatility: It can be used in various landscaping designs, such as hedges, specimen planting, or as part of mixed borders.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers provide nectar for bees and butterflies, supporting local ecosystems and pollinator populations.
    • Sensory Experience: The plant is well-known for its intense fragrance, which can enhance the sensory appeal of a garden space.
    • Cultural Significance: Lilacs are often associated with the onset of spring and have cultural significance in different regions, including as a symbol of love and renewal.
    • Shade Provision: When grown as shrubs or small trees, lilacs can offer a modest amount of shade to smaller garden areas.
    • Privacy: Dense lilac hedges can serve as privacy screens, blocking views and creating secluded spaces in the garden.
    • Seasonal Interest: Lilacs have a distinct blooming period in spring, adding seasonal interest to landscapes.
    • Durability: The common lilac is relatively hardy and can have a long lifespan with proper care.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Lilac wood is hard and can be used for engraving work or in the production of musical instruments such as flutes and pipes for its fine grain and density.
    • The flowers of the lilac can be used to make a fragrant, natural dye for fabrics, yielding soft shades of green or yellow depending on the mordant used.
    • In perfumery, lilac essence is sometimes used as a heart note to lend a fresh, floral scent to fragrances, often synthesized to capture the plant's elusive aroma.
    • Lilac is a source of nectar for butterflies and bees, making it an excellent plant for supporting local pollinator populations in gardens.
    • The dense foliage of the lilac can provide shelter and nesting sites for small birds during the spring and summer months.
    • During historical times, lilac was used in traditional horticultural practices to graft other species of Syringa or related plants.
    • The rich, deep green leaves of the lilac can be composted after they fall, enriching the soil with organic matter as they decompose.
    • Educational purposes, such as botany studies and ornamental horticulture training, often use the lilac as a classic example for pruning techniques and plant care.
    • In artisan crafts, dried lilac flowers can be added to handmade soaps, potpourris, or sachets to provide a subtle, pleasant fragrance.
    • Lilac festivals and shows celebrate the beauty and variety of lilacs, encouraging community engagement and tourism in areas where they are a significant part of local culture.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Lilac is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Lilac is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Romantic emotions: Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale', commonly known as the common lilac, often symbolizes the first emotions of love, owing to its sweet and delicate fragrance that evokes the warmth of an innocent heart.
    • Youthful innocence: The common lilac’s early spring bloom is associated with the fresh start of spring and the purity and innocence of youth.
    • Renewal and Fresh Beginnings: As they are among the first flowers to bloom in spring, common lilacs are emblematic of renewal and the start of new ventures.
    • Mourning: In some cultures, the lilac, particularly the white lilac, is a symbol of mourning or remembrance, used to commemorate loved ones who have passed away.
    • Spirituality: The lilac's fragrance and ethereal blooms are sometimes associated with spiritual ascension and the exploration of mysterious realms.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Common lilac should be watered deeply but infrequently, aiming for about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall. During the growing season, especially in hot, dry periods, increase watering to twice a week. If you choose to use a hose or drip system, allow the water to soak into the soil reaching the roots without causing runoff. If manually watering with a watering can or similar container, use approximately 0.5 gallons per square foot every week during the growing season. Reduce watering in the fall and water sparingly in the winter as the plant requires less moisture during dormancy.

  • sunLight

    Common lilac thrives in full sun, needing at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Place the plant in a location where it can receive unfiltered sunlight throughout the day for optimal growth and blooming. Avoid planting in areas with significant shade as this can reduce flowering and lead to poor plant health.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Common lilac is hardy and can survive in a range of temperatures; the plant can tolerate winter temperatures as low as -30°F and summer temperatures up to 85°F. However, the ideal growing temperature for common lilac is between 60°F and 75°F. It’s important to protect the plant from extreme heat, as prolonged exposure to temperatures above 85°F may stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune common lilac immediately after flowering to maintain its shape and to remove spent blooms, which encourages the plant to produce more flowers the following spring. Prune out any dead or diseased branches, and thin out crowded areas to improve air circulation. To rejuvenate older shrubs, remove a third of the oldest stems back to the ground each year for three years.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale') thrives best in a well-draining, loamy soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A good soil mix would consist of two parts loam, one part peat moss, and one part perlite to ensure drainage and aeration. It's crucial to maintain a neutral to slightly alkaline soil environment to promote healthy growth and flowering.

  • plantRepotting

    Common lilacs (Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale') are typically not repotted often as they are large shrubs best grown outdoors. If grown in containers, young lilacs may be repotted every couple of years. Mature common lilacs are rarely repotted; instead, the topsoil can be refreshed every few years to replenish nutrients.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Common lilacs (Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale') are quite adaptable and do not require high humidity; they do well in average garden conditions. Ensure good air circulation to prevent fungal diseases, but otherwise, they are not humidity sensitive. They can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels typical of temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, ensure good airflow, water when soil is dry.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sunny spot, well-drained soil, water deeply when dry.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale', commonly known as the common lilac 'Vestale', starts its life with seed germination, which occurs when conditions of moisture, temperature, and light are favorable. The seeds develop into seedlings with essential structures such as roots, stems, and leaves through which the plant can begin photosynthesis. As the seedling grows, it enters the vegetative stage, where it establishes a robust root system and expands its foliage, preparing for the flowering stage. Upon reaching maturity, the common lilac 'Vestale' produces fragrant white blossoms typically in the spring, which attract pollinators for sexual reproduction. After pollination and fertilization, the flowers produce seeds encased in capsules, completing the reproductive cycle. The plant then enters a period of dormancy in the winter, conserving energy to restart the growth cycle in the next growing season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris 'Vestale') is through softwood cuttings typically taken in the late spring or early summer. To do so, a healthy, new growth shoot is selected and a cutting of about 4 to 6 inches (approximately 10 to 15 cm) is taken, making sure it includes at least two pairs of leaves. The bottom set of leaves is removed, and the cut end is often dipped in rooting hormone to encourage root development. This cutting is then planted in a well-draining potting mix, with the remaining leaves just above the soil surface. The pot should be kept moist, and a humidity dome or plastic bag can be used to maintain a humid environment around the cutting until roots develop, usually within a few weeks.