Japanese Lilac Tree

Sryinga reticulata

Leaves: Deciduous. Leaves have smooth edges and are a broad oval shape, 2-5½” long, about ½ as wide, with a pointed tip. Dark green color. Not good fall color, yellow to brown. Leaves emerge early.

Bark/Twigs: Shiny, reddish brown to brown colored bark, with abundant horizontal white, small dots (lenticels), resembling cherry bark. On older trunks bark is gray and scaly.

Flowers/Fruit: Creamy white, extremely showy, fragrant flowers. Blooms in large 6-12” long, and 6-10” wide, terminal clusters (panicles) in early June for 2 weeks. Dried, ¾” long, brown, lilac-looking capsule fruit.

Mature size and shape: Small to medium. 20-30’h x 15-25’w. Stiff spreading branches developing a somewhat oval to rounded crown. As they mature, branches become somewhat arching and graceful.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun for best flowering. Loose, well-drained soil is preferred. Not very heat tolerant. Prefers cool summers. Tolerates alkaline soil. Fairly tough, relatively insect and disease free.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Good specimen tree. Can be used as a street tree. Average growing rate. Average maintenance. Prune after flowering.

USDA Hardiness Zone:  3-7

Family/Origin: Oleaceae – Olive. Native of Japan.

Campus use: Somewhat uncommon. Specimens can be found along the north side of the LeRoy Cowles Building (Bld 13) or the east side of Gardner Hall (Bld 3).