Syringa vulgaris 'Dappled Dawn'
Variegated Common Lilac
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Family: Olive family (Oleaceae)
Native Habitat: eastern Europe

General Lilac Information:
Ah, Lilacs! The quintessential spring flowering shrub. The plant to buy mom for Mother's Day. The beautiful flowers and their incredible fragrance. They've been one of our most popular shrubs for centuries. In fact the first record for their cultivation dates to the 1500's.

When most people think of Lilacs, it's the "Common Lilac" (Syringa vulgaris) that springs to mind.  A wonderful shrub in many respects, it does have some serious deficiencies, three in particular. They grow too large for many gardens. Depending on variety they can max out at 8 to 15 ft. in height with a spread of 6 to 12 ft. Not a small shrub! They tend to sucker, many varieties profusely. These root suckers surround the plant at the base and really detract from what would otherwise be a nice vase-shaped form. And perhaps worst of all, they are often disease prone with powdery mildew on the foliage being particularly troublesome. Leaves can be almost completely covered by mildew in bad years.

Fortunately there are some fantastic lilac varieties that have nearly all the positives of Common Lilac with none of the negatives. We've tried to select a few of the best to offer in our catalog.

This variety:
'Dappled Dawn' is the only variety of the Common Lilac that we offer. There is only one reason that we grow this shrub and that is its remarkable variegation. Leaves are attractively splashed creamy-yellow and new leaves are suffused with pink. The pink shading gradually disappears as each leaf grows to full size. This is the only variegated variety of Lilac that we are aware of. In May, purple-blue buds open to trusses of fragrant blue flowers which contrast nicely with the colorful foliage.

Ornamental Characteristics:
Creamy-yellow splashed variegated foliage. Fragrant blue flowers in May.
Habit & Growth Rate:
Slow to medium growth rate. Upright form to 10 ft. high and 5 or 6 ft. wide.
Landscape Uses: Shrub border, specimen plant. Flowers attract butterflies .
Hardiness: Zone 3 to 7
Easily grown in average garden soil. Full sun best.