The flowering lilac is a bush that seems to be everywhere in the spring in North America. The lilac’s early bloom time makes it a welcome sight after a long winter. Its clusters of small blooms and sweet fragrance make it easily recognizable as a symbol of the season of renewal.
Lilacs have elongated stems bearing dozens of tiny flowers on each branch. They are frequently a pale purple color. In fact, the word lilac can apply to anything that has a lavender hue.
Lilacs are also found in shades of pink, white, indigo, and yellow. The yellow variety of the lilac is less common and is more sensitive to cold winters. Lilacs petals may be a solid color or display a contrasting color in their center or along their edges.
Lilacs are prized not only for their cheerful flowers, but also for their unique scent. This fragrance has been described as sweet and powdery, and has been popular in perfumes for hundreds of years. The lilac essence is also commonly found in skin care products and in aromatherapy oils, to promote tranquility.
Since the Victorian era, lilacs have been used to represent a past love. They were often worn by widows as a way to remember their departed husbands. In addition, the lilac was sometimes given by an old flame trying to rekindle a romance.
Because many lilacs exhibit pastel colors they can be used to celebrate new babies. Traditionally, pink blooms were for girls and violet-blue flowers were for boys. However, multi-color and neutral colored flowers are growing in popularity. As with many flowers, white symbolizes purity. What is more pure than a newborn baby?
Lilacs are members of the olive tree family. Although they are classified as a bush, many varieties can grow as large as trees. Preferring full sun and needing little maintenance, some lilacs can reach heights of fifteen to twenty five feet.
If you love to watch butterflies, consider planting lilacs in your garden. Not only does their sweet fragrance attract a variety of pollinators, the bush itself is often used as a home for butterfly larvae. To learn all about how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, see this article from our sister site, AllAboutWorms.com.
Lilacs make an excellent present for a spring birthday or celebration. White and pastel varieties are also beautiful in bridal bouquets and decor. Whatever the occasion, the cheerful blossoms and delicate fragrance of the lilac will always be a welcome gift.