If you love the pleasing aroma of a lilac tree, you’re in luck. Contrary to what some people believe, there are dozens of lilac tree types, but all of them have one thing in common – they will lure you in and make you fall in love with them every time!
Lilac trees are part of the olive family and have scented pink flowers that bloom in the late spring. Lilacs can grow both on shrubs and trees, with the latter getting up to 20 feet or so in height.
With greyish-brown bark and leaves that get up to five inches in length, the lilac has a sweet smell and usually blooms right before roses do. Best of all, the colors associated with lilacs range from light-pink to white and even purple and lavender.
Not an aggressive species by any means, lilacs are found both in the wild and in areas where humans once inhabited or still do inhabit. The tree is native to the Balkan Peninsula, but is now naturalized in parts of North America and Europe.
Lilacs are both beautiful and beautifully scented, so they are often found in places such as parks, gardens, and other public areas. They tend to flower profusely every other year, and there are a lot of different cultivars for people to choose from if this is the tree they want.
Below are some of the most common types of lilac trees.
- 1. Sensation Lilac
- 2. Tinkerbelle Lilac
- 3. Snowdance Japanese Lilac
- 4. Charles Joly Lilac
- 5. Golden Eclipse Lilac
- 6. Dwarf Korean Lilac
- 7. Mme. Lemoine Lilac
- 8. Asessippi Lilac
- 9. Common Purple Lilac
- 10. Declaration Lilac
- 11. Ivory Silk Lilac
- 12. Chantilly Lace Lilac
- 13. Elliott Lilac
- 14. Ludwig Spaeth Lilac
- 15. Miss Canada Lilac
- 16. Mount Baker Lilac
- 17. President Lincoln Lilac
- 18. Bloomerang Dark Purple Lilac
- 19. President Grevy Lilac
- 20. Beauty of Moscow Lilac
- 21. Regent Lilac Tree
- 22. Meyer Lilac Tree
- 23. China Gold Lilac
1. Sensation Lilac
Best when grown in zones 2 to 7, this is an eye-catching tree that is guaranteed to catch anyone’s attention. Their purple flowers are trimmed in white, and the plants they grow on get up to 10 feet tall and up to 12 feet wide.
Sometimes, Sensation lilacs turn a solid-white color, which are just as lovely as the purple ones. They form in clusters with single purple blossoms and open in mid-spring.
2. Tinkerbelle Lilac
This type of lilac tree is perfect for smaller gardens and gets up to roughly eight feet tall and five feet wide. It is perfect for growing in zones 3 to 7 and the butterflies love it, mostly because of its slightly spicy scent.
Tinkerbelle lilacs bloom in late-spring and produce flowers that are dark wine-red in color, making them a favorite regardless of where they are planted. It is also found on both trees and shrubs, and it adds color to any garden it’s in.
3. Snowdance Japanese Lilac
This is one of the many lilac tree types that grows quite large – up to 18 feet tall and 20 feet in width. Their creamy-white flowers are quite a head-turner, and they even have broad leaves that make the tree great for providing shade.
Perfect for growing in zones 3 to 7, the Snowdance lilac tree is shaped like a vase and is a hybrid, making it both pest- and disease-free. A beautiful addition to anyone’s landscape.
4. Charles Joly Lilac
A French variety, the Charles Joly is a hybrid that produces deep-purple flowers with a magenta color on the inside, making them quite an eye-catching cultivar. Growing up to 12 feet high and 10 feet wide, it has been around since the late 1800s and is one of the most popular French lilacs grown today.
The Charles Joly lilac tree is great for growing in zones 3 to 7 and makes a perfect screen for your garden.
5. Golden Eclipse Lilac
With ivory-white blossoms and variegated leaves, this is indeed a very attractive lilac. It grows best in zones 4 to 7 and has leaves that gain bright-gold edges once the tree starts to age. It can grow up to 24 feet in height and 14 feet in width.
This is a Japanese type of lilac tree that has leaves that start out green with darker green centers, making them the perfect complement to the white flowers that are produced.
6. Dwarf Korean Lilac
The Dwarf Korean is more of a bush than a tree, as it gets up to roughly five feet tall and no more than seven feet wide. It has reddish-purple flowers and is very easy to grow. It also produces a lot of perfume and, therefore, it is a very popular type of lilac.
This lilac tree does best when grown in zones 3 to 7, and it makes a great-looking hedge that is also low-maintenance.
7. Mme. Lemoine Lilac
Named for the wife of the man who developed this hybrid, the Mme. Lemoine has beautiful white flowers that bloom in mid-spring. The tree grows up to 10 feet high and 10 feet wide, and it does best when grown in zones 3 to 7.
Its double blossoms also produce some of the most pleasant aromas of any of the lilac trees.
8. Asessippi Lilac
Developed in the mid-1930s in Canada, the Asessippi lilac tree does best when grown in zones 2 to 7. Single lavender blooms appear in the spring and have a wonderful scent that everyone will notice.
The Asessippi lilac gets up to 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide, and if you’re looking for the perfect tree to use as a background shrub, this is it. This is partly because the flowers tend to grow profusely, making them a very popular tree indeed.
It also does great in cold climates since it originated in Canada.
9. Common Purple Lilac
This is the tree most people think of when they think of a lilac. It has lavender or purple flowers and grows up to 15 feet high and 12 feet wide. They can also be grown in zones 2 to 7, making them a possibility for millions of people.
The common purple lilac makes a great hedge or screen for your garden, and its scent is so strong and wonderful that it can make your entire home smell fantastic. If you’re looking for the perfect flowers to place in a vase on your kitchen table, this is it.
10. Declaration Lilac
This tree has gorgeous reddish-purple flowers that open a bit sooner than other lilac tree types. Their fragrance is quite strong and, therefore, they are the perfect flower to use in vases and for setting on your coffee table.
Declaration lilacs grow up to 7 feet high and 7 feet wide, and they do best when grown in zones 4 to 7. They are also the perfect specimen shrub and can even be used as a hedge if you like. They grow in clusters up to 15 inches in length, making them quite an eye-catching type of lilac.
11. Ivory Silk Lilac
First introduced in Ontario, Canada, the Ivory Silk lilac can grow up to 25 feet high and 20 feet wide. It is an early bloomer, so you can often see the start of flowers once it gets to roughly five feet in height. Its white flowers and dark-colored branches make for a very beautiful lilac tree.
Even in the cold winter months, the Ivory Silk lilac tree looks great because of its stocky branches and bark that is almost glossy in color.
12. Chantilly Lace Lilac
This type of lilac tree has ivory-colored flowers that are usually seen in mid-summer and foliage that can change colors throughout the season. If you keep the tree out of hot weather, it will look amazing for a very long time, and it is a large tree as well, growing up to 25 feet in both height and width.
13. Elliott Lilac
More commonly known as the Snow Cap lilac tree, this is a compact tree that reaches up to 20 feet high, but only 10 to 12 feet in width. It has dark-green leaves that are quite thick and beautiful white flower spikes that grow profusely. It is mostly designed for growing in milder climates, such as in zone 8.
14. Ludwig Spaeth Lilac
Recommended for growing in zones 3 to 7, this type of lilac is very aromatic and blooms in the early summer months. It has deep-purple flowers and grows to 12 feet high and 8 feet in width. The tree has been around since the early 1880s, and it is still a favorite of growers who love purple blooms.
15. Miss Canada Lilac
Miss Canada lilac trees grow up to nine feet high and eight feet in width, and their bright-pink flowers are real eye-catchers. Made for growing in zones 2 to 7, this is a very hardy and sturdy tree that will look great in anyone’s garden.
The Miss Canada’s single pink flowers bloom in mid-June and are a favorite for anyone who loves the color pink.
16. Mount Baker Lilac
One of the lilac tree types with more than one name, the Mount Baker also goes by the name of Pocahontas, and its maroon-purple flowers are indeed head-turners. The tree itself grows up to 12 feet high and 12 feet wide, and if you’re looking for the perfect background shrub, this is it.
This is also a late-blooming type of lilac tree whose flowers grow profusely all season long.
17. President Lincoln Lilac
Growing up to 10 feet high and 10 feet wide, the President Lincoln lilac has gorgeous blue flowers that grow in clusters. If you need something for a hedge or screen in your garden, look no further because this is it.
This lilac tree does best when grown in zones 3 to 7 and it is very aromatic. They bloom in mid-spring and are thick-looking thanks to their clustered flower blooms.
18. Bloomerang Dark Purple Lilac
The Bloomerang has – you guessed it – dark-purple flowers that are sure to catch the attention of passersby. Although they bloom in the spring, they rebloom in the summer and fall, and they get up to six feet in height and six feet wide.
Perfect for growing in zones 3 to 7, the Bloomerang has tiny, but prolific blooms that also smell wonderful, making them a favorite for anyone who loves lilac trees.
19. President Grevy Lilac
Blooming in mid-May, this lilac has flowers of several shades of light-blue and lavender, making it a favorite among lilac tree-lovers. The tree grows up to 12 feet in both height and width, and the blooms are also quite large, getting up to 10 inches in length.
Not only is the flower of the President Grevy very attractive, but its sweet scent is sure to be noticed by everyone. It grows best in zones 3 to 7, and it is a French-type of lilac that looks perfect when used as a backdrop for other plants.
20. Beauty of Moscow Lilac
Growing up to 12 feet high and 8 feet wide, this lilac tree starts out with light-pink buds that grow into beautiful white flowers. Perfect as a specimen shrub, the Beauty of Moscow is a sturdy type of lilac that is both gorgeous and wonderfully scented.
21. Regent Lilac Tree
Developed in Princeton, New Jersey, the Regent boasts beautiful white flowers that grow in clusters in the summer. In fact, they grow quite abundantly, producing lots of flowers for you to enjoy. This is a Japanese variety that is perfect for cities that wish to plant an attractive tree on public streets.
The Regent is also a very large lilac tree, getting up to 30 feet in height and 15 feet in width.
22. Meyer Lilac Tree
One of the many lilac tree types that is more of a shrub than a tree, the Meyer lilac tree grows to roughly 8 feet high and 10 feet wide. The flowers are pale-pink or light-purple in color, and they bloom in late-spring.
The tree is native to northern China and northern Japan and has flowers that produce a strong, but pleasant aroma. Perfect for landscaping, this is one tree that will bloom profusely all season long.
23. China Gold Lilac
Originating in the mid-1950s, the China Gold lilac has ivory-colored flowers and leaves that start out as pale yellow, but become a greenish-yellow color later in the season.
With branches that have a reddish hue, the China Gold lilac tree grows to roughly 25 feet in height and 25 feet wide, making it a very large and eye-catching tree. It does most of its blossoming during the summer months.