Thursday, 28 September 2017 12:41

The Descanso Lilacs

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(Syringa x hyacinthiflora)

Lavender Lady Lilac

Lavender Lady Hybrid was patented by Walter E. Lammers 1/5/54. This selection was sold as a Descanso Lilac and introduced through Robert Boddy owner of Descanso Nursery. Mr. Boddy presented the propagation of this lilac at the 1957 Plant Propagators annual meeting at the old Voorhis Cal Poly Pomona campus. At that time we had very few lilac sales in Southern California. Most lilacs did not grow in this area as they required more cold. I made an arrangement to grow this new patent.

The L. E. Cooke Co introduced Lavender Lady to all mild winter area nurseries. It has beautiful lavender fragrant flowers in huge clusters. This lilac is the parent of many hybrids that followed in the next few years.    Lavender Lady Lilac Photo Gallery



F.K. Smith Lilac

F. K. SMITH LILAC is a tall growing plant with huge, single, lavender, cluster flowers, very showy.  F.K. Smith Lilac Photo Gallery



Sylvan Beauty Lilac

SYLVAN BEAUTY LILAC is a compact grower with dark lavender to purple flowers. This selection produced many tight flower clusters with unusual shapes.  Sylvan Beauty Lilac Photo Gallery



California Rose Lilac

CALIFORNIA ROSE LILAC is a fast grower, taller than other mild winter lilacs with clear, showy, pink flowers in narrow clusters making it very striking.  California Rose Lilac Photo Gallery



Chiffon Lilac

CHIFFON LILAC is another blue/lavender flower in clusters growing on very tall plants. The selection is a profuse bloomer with the opening flowers light blue and aging to a blue/lavender.  Chiffon Lilac Photo Gallery



Dark Night Lilac

DARK NIGHT LILAC was introduced a little later. It is a smaller, upright plant with a deep rose/lavender color. The foliage exhibits a purplish cast.   Dark Night Lilac Photo Gallery



Angel White Lilac

ANGEL WHITE LILAC was introduced giving the L. E. Cooke Co a good selection of lilacs for Southern California. This selection is a large growing plant with a good white flower.  Angel White Lilac Photo Gallery



Blue Boy Lilac

BLUE BOY LILAC was also introduced in the 1960’s. The lavender/pink bud opens to blue florets. It is a compact grower with darker foliage.  Blue Boy Lilac Photo Gallery


All of the lilacs are now planted in the Descanso Arboretum in La Canada and available at their nursery. Many retail nurseries carry a choice of these lilacs for the mild winter climates. This was our first opportunity to have lilacs similar to the French Hybrids with nice foliage and fragrance. We had Chinese lilacs before these introductions for mild winter climates.

Bob Ludekens

Lots of Lilac Photo Galleries Here