Lilac Syringa vulgaris
Family: Oleaceae (Olive)
Lilac is a common shrub planted in gardens and yards and often
escapes. It is usually easy to identify in the winter with a
combination of retained seed pods and buds. The buds often occur
in a terminal pair similar to Elderberry, Bladdernut or Cranberry Viburnum (though
Lilac is more obvious). There are usually seed pods visible
throughout the winter and they can provide a quick identification.
Although it is technically a shrub, they can grow quite tall,
more than twice the height of a person and can apparently live for a few hundred
years. There are numerous cultivars and varieties that are often
planted, some of them much more tree-like in form (single trunk,
Double end bed typical of Lilac
Lateral flower buds. Notice the similar in appearance to Elderberry.
Try pinching the twig or checking the pith.
Lateral buds, with a flower bud on the left and a leaf bud on the right.
Another view of the "pods"
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© 2008 Josh Sayers
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