Syringa, Common Lilac, French Lilac 'Primrose'

Syringa vulgaris

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Syringa (si-RING-gah) (Info)
Species: vulgaris (vul-GAIR-iss) (Info)
Cultivar: Primrose



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

By grafting

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Litchfield, Maine

Swartz Creek, Michigan

Jamestown, Ohio

Norristown, Pennsylvania

Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 28, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The color is pale and pastel but decidedly yellow to my eye, and it makes a great contrast with the darker purple lilacs. I find the superb fragrance is indistinguishable from the other common lilacs.

I generally prefer hyacinthiflora hybrids to S. vulgaris, but I make an exception for this cultivar because of its unique color.


On Jun 5, 2011, gardenhippie from Stroudsburg, PA wrote:

This plant was purchased at Kmart about 4 or 5 years ago from in a box from a display case of mixed boxed plants. I didn't have much faith in the color being yellow but love to have a bit of fun. I planted it in a pot like my other 2 lilacs which I have had for many years. This year the so called yellow lilac is about 3 feet tall and very full and shaped nice. Lucky me that I have a fetish for cream colored flowers as to be honest saying yellow is a stretch. BUT this is an adorable plant, leaves smaller and more elliptic shaped than my other lilacs and the blossoms about one fifth of the size. It gets covered with small cone shaped flowers in a creamy white with a similar but not as pungent fragrance and I just love it ! It did bloom the first year after planting. Too bad they are m... read more


On May 15, 2009, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

The one specimen of this I have seen (in an arboretum) did not appear yellow at all to me, but rather a pale creamy white. I could not detect any fragrance.


On Feb 5, 2005, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is perhaps the most well known of the 'yellow' lilacs. The flowers are in fact a pastel primrose-yellow, certainly not bright. However, it is a welcome colour among a group of shrubs that are primarily pinks, purples and blues. It still has the classic lilac fragrance.