Scientific name: Syringa vulgaris
Lilac is an introduced species in the UK that can sometimes be found in hedgerows and along woodland edges. Flower spikes appear in spring, beautifully scented and packed with small, lilac-pink blooms.

Species information


Height: up to 6m

Conservation status

Introduced, but naturalised species.

When to see

January to December


Lilac was introduced from the mountains of south-east Europe in the 16th century as a garden plant and has since become naturalised. It is not common, but can sometimes be found in hedgerows and along woodland edges. It flowers in spring (around May and June) and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens for both its delicately coloured flower spikes and its lovely fragrance.

How to identify

Lilac has glossy, heart-shaped leaves, smooth bark. It displays spikes of densely packed, small, pale pinky-purple flowers that have a sweet smell.



Did you know?

Lilac wood is often used for making musical instruments.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.