22 responses to “Syringa × hyacinthiflora ‘Dark Night’”

  1. Charles Tubesing

    I visited this garden ~25 years ago, and in addition to the lilacs, I remember large specimens of Sciadopitys verticillata and Magnolia denudata (Photo of latter attached).

  2. Duke

    Beautiful ×

  3. Judith Holm

    What a stunningly beautiful photograph this is, Daniel. I could even smell the lovely lilac perfume before catching myself that this was happening.

    On a day to day basis it is actually your commentaries which most interest me. You express thoughtful perspectives and I learn from your experience and understanding.

    Thank you!

  4. Les Plush

    Thanks for bringing up that many types of lilacs require lots of cold to bloom well. I have one that in some years does not bloom at all. It is located in the foothills east of Chico CA. at 2500 ft. There once was quite a bit of snow here but not much in the last six years.

    But the lilac is very “deer resistant”, which is necessary for survival around here.

  5. Alan Butler

    Funny. Immediately I saw the picture it reminded me of my mother’s favourite lilac which was also a dark colour just like the picture. We had a several bushes of it in our garden in West London and the perfume was gorgeous. Quite a lot hung over the fence and people often asked if they could pick a bunch (and sometimes just did it!). Thank you for the memory.

  6. Susanne

    Lilacs don’t do well in Missouri either. we should have plenty of the appropriate range of cold temperature, and those that live (and do not get eaten by deer which seem to really like the flowers) do bloom. I understand that here it is the lilac borer that kills even slightly older trunks and so we only have 4-5 foot high new sprouts :(. anything in any of the breeding prgrams that would select for resistance to borers?

  7. Helen Wong

    oh for smellavision via the internet. Reminded me of my visit to Manito Park in Spokane, Washington. There is a wonderful grove of lilacs in the park.

  8. Toinette Lippe

    This morning a friend and I visited the Conservatory Garden in NYC’s Central Park, hoping to see the tulip display, but we were a little early.The daffs were out, but not most of the tulips, except the species tulips. Still, we were greeted by the lilac you feature today. Thank you.

  9. Marjorie Jarrett

    The garden is my favourite ‘path’ to family and the hedge of lilacs along the front of my Grandparent’s home in Prince George is a favourite memory. However, the hedge and urge to snap branches and bring them indoors was the bane of at least one’s aunt’s life since she was very allergic and no one suspected the connection between the flowers and her annual spring suffering. Luckily we know more now and I resist the urge to bring the flowers indoors!

  10. Lynn Wohlers

    This is a lovely post, bringing back memories of lilacs lining a short gravel drive at our Syracuse, NY home, in the fifties. There were traditional lavender lilacs, a few darker purple, and one white. I have no idea what the varieties were, but it was heaven. Living many years in NYC, I would always buy myself a bunch in May, for the memory and the scent, which are so closely intertwined.

  11. Naomi

    I’d never really seen lilacs until visiting a friend in Athens, Georgia, several years back. She had one able to withstand the heat and bloom with less cool. There was a spray in my bedroom – the scent overtook the whole room! I couldn’t sleep because of it but I didn’t care, it was too glorious. I’ve wanted one ever since, but I doubt even those newer ones would make it in New Orleans.

  12. Bonnie

    In the middle of TX I miss these plants so bad! I grew up with them in PA.


    We are having an early spring in Southern Maryland this year. Tulips and all are in full bloom. I could almost smell that lilac.
    My memories of my youth in suburban New York City include lying in bed in the morning and smelling the hedgerow of lilacs. There are a few species that grow in S. Md., but we do not have the intense cold as you so aptly pointed out which is needed for great blooms. Another memory; growing along with the lilacs was kerria japonica which I have presently blooming in my garden. A welcome splash of gold in the early spring landscape. Keep up the wonderful photos and apt descriptions. They have become an important start to my day.

  14. Wendy Cutler

    The Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens makes for a nice rest stop driving south from Seattle – it’s very few blocks from the highway, but very removed from it in feel. It puts one in a much better mood for tackling the approach to Portland.

    I like looking for 5-petaled flowers – gives me extra time to enjoy the fragrance of the blossoms. Or imagine I’m smelling them – I found two 5-petaled ones in this photo.

  15. Kerry Seifried

    They seem to do fine in Parksville BC – we had 3 old bushes on our property that hadn’t been tended for 40 years. So far 2 are doing well here in Victoria too – plant sale bargains so no idea what their names are. I tend to think that lilacs are so present in the prairies and east because there isn’t as much choice in fragrant blooming shrubs plus they are tough shrubs..

  16. michael aman

    Thanks for the poem. I know how profoundly I was affected as a child of eleven years old when John Kennedy was assassinated. It gives me an idea of how Whitman felt when Lincoln was murdered. The poem is so moving. And points out how intertwined our memories become of a tragedy and what is growing in our garden at the time of the tragedy. Lilacs. Scent is so powerful. Lilacs and Lincoln. Our chorus sang an abbreviated version of this poem a few years back. Music and words and the scent of lilacs.

  17. Jaime Kooser

    Thanks for the joyful memories! My mother loved lilacs. My vivid memory is of her carefully arranging dark purple lilacs with deep pink tulips.

    I join the chorus of thank yous for every aspect of your posts. Thank you for all you do to make them so exquisite. I learn so much and feel more connected to nature.

    Best wishes!

  18. Erica

    Like others have expressed, my mother loved lilacs. We had some in our yard. Each spring the entire family (parents, five children) went to the Morton Arboretum (Lisle, IL near Chicago) to view and smell the lilacs in their large collection. I remember running around and smelling every bush. Sure wish they grew in Florida.
    Thank you, Daniel

  19. Gabrielle

    It seems many of us from the Northeast have fond memories of lilacs! They grew along the edge of the yard at the house I grew up in in NJ. They were at least 12 feet tall, with most of the flowers up near the top. (Our NYC born & raised parents didn’t know about plants :-)) My aunt used to come over with a ladder to cut them for bouquets. We have them at our house here in RI where they do very well. I can’t bring the cut flowers in, they make me sneeze. Love them anyway!

  20. Dana D

    I had a gorgeous lilac when I moved into my home in northeast Oklahoma. The scent carried to the far side of my neighbor’s property (well over a half acre away). Assuming lilacs performed well here, I tried others and none were happy. Eventually, we realized the roots of the lilac had invaded the plumbing system and once it no longer had an endless supply of water, it became very unhappy and did not perform well. I moved the last piece to the back of my property and forgot about it. A few years later I realized the lilac was doing well in a spot where it was basically ignored. I will never know the exact cultivar, but my closest guess it is a Syringa ‘Miss Kim’ sold in nurseries. Since it can bloom in the fall when the heat spell breaks, it does not seem to have the chill hours requirement Daniel mentions. But the flower buds are killed by late spring freezes if they have started to emerge so a bloom every year is not guaranteed.

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