Syringa 'Red Pixie'
Hybrid Lilac
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Family: Olive family (Oleaceae)
Native Habitat: of hybrid origin

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:
'Red Pixie' was originally a seedling selected from a cross made by Max Peterson of Ogallala, Nebraska between Syringa meyeri and Syringa julianae 'Hers'. It is quite similar in appearance to Syringa meyeri 'Palibin', differing slightly in flower color and in form. As you might guess from the name. it is a compact Lilac (as is Palibin) seldom growing taller than 4 ft. It can be somewhat broader spreading than Palibin and its branches grow more horizontally. It shares Palibin's excellent mildew and disease resistance. The biggest difference between the two is in flower color. Red Pixie's ruby-red buds open to reddish-pink flowers that soon fade to light pink.

Ornamental Characteristics:
Ruby-red buds open to fragrant reddish-pink flowers in early May (northern Indiana). Flowers quickly fade to light pink. Attractive, lustrous foliage.
Habit & Growth Rate:
Medium-slow growth rate. Maximum size of 4 to 5' high and slightly wider. One of the smallest growing Lilacs.
Landscape Uses: Shrub border, foundation plantings, specimen plant. Flowers attract butterflies.
Hardiness: Zone 4 to 8
Easily grown in average garden soil. Full sun best. Excellent disease resistance.