Common Purple Lilac Facts
The common purple lilac is sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Shrubs.” That’s not only because they are extremely beautiful, but also because they have many highly desirable properties for gardeners. These are plants that are hardy, highly fragrant, and easy to care for.
Common Purple Lilac Facts
The height of the lilac is another very appealing quality, which means that this flower can look equally great at either the front or the back of a flower bed. But it’s the scent that makes it really stand out – filling your space with a really sweet aroma.
For those reasons, they have been increasing in popularity year on year. And what’s even nicer to know, is that these plants are fascinating – with a rich history and truly remarkable biology. To learn a little more about these amazing flowers and perhaps surprise your friends with some trivia, keep reading.
They Have Links to Greek Mythology
Common purple lilac plays a crucial role in the story of Pan. Pan is the god of forests and fields, and the legend goes that he was in love with a nymph by the name of Syringa. Unfortunately for Pan, Syringa did not return his affections!
Pan was chasing Syringa through the forest on one occasion, and so she turned herself into a lilac shrub in order to conceal herself from his view. Pan found Syringa, but without recognizing her, she went on to turn the plant into the very first panpipe.
The Greek word “Syrinks” means “pipe.” And that is also where the lilac gets its scientific name: Syringa!
Lilacs Represent Different Things
The cultural significance of lilacs goes beyond Greek mythology, however! Lilacs actually symbolize many different things depending on where you are in the world. For many, they represent renewal and Spring, owing to their status as early bloomers.
The Celtics believed that Lilacs were magical meanwhile, which is due to the sweet scent. And during Victorian England, Lilacs were a symbol of love. Widows would commonly wear lilacs during this time.
In Russia, it was once believed that holding a sprig of lilac over a newborn baby could bring them wisdom!
Lilacs Belong to the Same Family as the Olive Tree
Getting a little more botanical for a moment, did you know that the lilac shrub belongs to the same family as the olive tree? That is the Oleaceae family, which contains more than 20 different species of plants. Other members of this family include olives, ash, and jasmine!
It surprises many people to learn this, given that the plant doesn’t have much obviously in common with the large tree!
Some Lilacs Can Grow HUGE
But with that said, it makes more sense when you consider that there are over 1,000 varieties of lilacs – including some trees! Some of these trees can grow up to 30 feet tall! These include the Peking lilac and Japanese lilac.
Lilacs Have a Long Lifespan
I said at the start of this post that lilacs were hardy. Well, I wasn’t kidding! In fact, lilacs are so resilient that they often outlive the gardeners who plant them for many years. Some lilac shrubs will even live to be over 100 years old!
This means that lilacs will often be relics that tell us something about the past. If you are driving down a country road somewhere and you spot a bunch of random lilac bushes, there is a high chance that there was once a farm or a house here. Think of lilacs like echoes of a garden.
Lilacs are truly remarkable flowers then, and now you have just a few more reasons to love them!
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