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‘Purple Haze’ Lilac

Syringa ‘Purple Haze’

Accession Number
The alpha-numeric value assigned to a plant when it is added to the living collection as a way of identifying it.
Accession Date
The year the plant’s accession number was assigned.
Common Name
The non-scientific name for the plant.
Scientific Name
The scientific name describes the species of an organism. The first word is the plant's scientific genus and the second is the specific epithet. This two-word binomial is sometimes followed by other taxonomic descriptors, including subspecies (denoted by "ssp."), variety (denoted by "var."), form (denoted by "f." or "forma"), and cultivar (denoted by single quotation marks).
Plant Family
The family to which the plant belongs.
Propagation Material
The first part (material code) describes the material used to create the plant. The most common codes are "SD" (seed), "EX" (existing plant), "PT" (plant), "CT" (cutting), "SC" (scion), "SG" (seedling), and "GR" (graft). The second part describes the lineage the plant is derived from. The last part describes the year of propagation.
Collection Data
The first part indicates provenance (place or source of origin) using a letter code ("W" = wild, "G" = garden, "Z" = indirect wild, "U" = uncertain). The second part lists the plant source. For wild-collected material, the collector, collection number, and country are given.
The location of the plant on the landscape.
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Syringa ‘Purple Haze’
‘Purple Haze’ Lilac

Abundant light purple blossoms on a tidy, rounded shrub make Purple Haze a favorite among lilac collections. Bred by former Arboretum plant propagator Jack Alexander and named after a Jimi Hendrix tune, this lilac will put a spell on you.

The original plant (AA 2-92*C) from which the clone was derived, was accessioned in 1992. It was selected by then plant propagator Jack Alexander from a group of six seedlings in May 2002. The parents of the controlled cross are Syringa protolaciniata, received as cuttings from the Botanic Garden of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; collected in Barbur Jabul, Afghanistan by Dr. Klaus Ferdinand, and S. vulgaris. It is believed to be the first successful cross of these two species. Plants were introduced and distributed by the Arnold Arboretum’s Plant Introduction, Promotion, and Distribution (PIPD) program in 2006. Jack Alexander, a great fan of the musician Jimi Hendrix, named this cultivar and another lilac introduction, Syringa ‘Foxey Lady’ after songs in the Hendrix catalog. This sterile cultivar blooms year after year without needing deadheading, or the removal of spent flower heads. Its rounded form makes it a well-behaved plant in the landscape.


Viewing this plant in-person? Look for these defining characteristics:

  • 1
    Rounded habit. Kyle Port
  • 2
    A close-up photo of the pale lavender flowers of Syringa ‘Purple Haze’ on 5-May 2005
    Pale lavender flowers. Visitor Center Staff
  • 3
    Medium to dark green foliage. Kyle Port

About Our Collection

Fun Facts

  • One of the only known living representatives of the cross between Syringa vulgaris and S. protolaciniata.

  • Because the flowers are sterile, they do not set seed. Plants will flower vigorously year after year without deadheading.


Living Specimens
Specimens Dead or Removed
First Addition
Most Recent Addition
Tallest Specimen

Living Specimens

Plant ID Accession Date Received As Origin Source