Herb: Lilac


Latin name: Syringa vulgaris


Family: Oleaceae (Olive Family)



Medicinal use of Lilac:

The leaves and the fruit are antiperiodic, febrifuge, tonic and vermifuge. The bark or leaves have been chewed by children as a treatment for sore mouth.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
6 m
(20 feet)

Flovering:
May


Scent:
Scented
Shrub

Habitat of the herb:

Scrub on rocky hill slopes in Europe. Found in hedges, thickets and shrubberies in Britain.

Edible parts of Lilac:

Flowers - raw or folded into batter and fried to make fritters.

Other uses of the herb:

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. Used in perfumery. A green dye is obtained from the flowers. Green and brown dyes can be obtained from the leaves. A yellow-orange dye is obtained from the twigs. Plants can be grown as an informal hedge. The plant is often used as a rootstock for the various ornamental cultivars of lilac. Its main disadvantage is that it can sucker very freely.

Propagation of Lilac:

Seed - sow March in a north facing cold frame. Pre-treating the seed with 4 weeks warm then 3 weeks cold stratification improves germination. It is probable that sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame would be a more reliable method. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Plant them out in the summer if sufficient growth has been made, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of young shoots, 7cm with a heel, June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering in spring before new growth begins. Takes 12 months. Division of suckers in late winter. They can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of the herb:

Scrub on rocky hill slopes in Europe. Found in hedges, thickets and shrubberies in Britain.

Known hazards of Syringa vulgaris:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.