The progenitor of the lilac that everyone knows is the genus Syrings vulgaris belonging to the Oleacee family. Originally it was imported from Turkey and began to decorate and enrich English gardens around the half of the 1500s. It is also said that it was introduced in Austria by an ambassador of Ferdinand I, the emperor, to whom he was donated by the gardens of Constantinople . Soon it spread to all European countries and in Italy it reached the end of the same century. It is immediately clear that it was a plant of easy cultivation and soon the European gardens were filled with shrubs of lilac, also able to form rich hedges. But the true place of origin of lillб remained a mystery until 1828, the year in which it was finally discovered in Romania in the wild and later in the Balkan regions. But historically, the best known varieties of lilac, were studied and developed in Nancy, by Victor and Emile Lemoine, in their nursery. The shrub of the lilac can reach 3 meters in height, its leaves tend to be heart-shaped with a light green color and spring produces large "panicles" consisting of hundreds of star-shaped flowers. Flowers that, as the name of the plant itself says, can be lilac in color but also in other shades of purple, pink or even white. The scent is delicate but very special and easily recognizable.
THE LEGEND AND MEANINGS
An ancient fable tells that the magical people of the Fairies used the flowers of lillб to ward off the forces of evil. They loved to be among these plants and where they believed there were dark and evil shadows, they cultivated a lilac, as a purifying act against the infesting forces. The lilacs, according to the language of flowers, take on different meanings depending on the color. In the shades of purple it means falling in love even if in some areas of the world, giving lilac of this color, symbolizes a break of engagement. Instead, the white lilac indicates the ingenuity and purity of childhood. In Italy in particular, the lilac is the flower of the "emotion of love" and symbolizes shyness in speaking of love with a loved one. From Persia, on the other hand, the most negative meaning of the plant originates: lillб here meant "abandonment" and the lovers gave a twig to their girlfriends to break the bond. But even in America and England this flower does not have a positive meaning. They even say that women who wear lilacs will hardly find a husband.
Although the lilac in the Syringa vulgaris species, is known as a magnificent ornamental plant, used for decorative purposes, especially at weddings and parties in general, in ancient times its therapeutic and healing qualities were also famous.
In particular, a decoction made with the bark of lilac helped to cure the highest fevers, while an infusion with leaves, if ingested, was excellent for stomach pain, digestion and liver. Even rheumatism could be cured with this plant, in particular with the oil obtained from the maceration of the flowers. According to the legend of the fairies, lilac oil also had therapeutic characteristics for psychic problems. And the use made of lilacs to give life to women's fragrances and intense aromatic essences should also be emphasized. Today, lilac buds are used as heart and circulation tonics.
EXHIBITION AND CULTIVATION
The lilacs are ideal shrubs to enrich your garden. The area where they are planted must be a sunny area even though they can easily bear the partial shade.
The favorite soils of the lilacs are fertile, capable of retaining moisture, deep and better if calcareous. The fertilizations must be regular and it is advisable to use organic fertilizers while it is necessary to provide, from time to time, some pest exterminations.
The lilacs are resistant shrubs that do not fear the harsh cold of winter but not even the summer heat. They are not plants that require special care: in general, rainwater is sufficient, but in the most sultry months it is advisable to water them sporadically. In addition to the garden variety, which if left in the wild can reach several meters in height, there are also the most compact vase types, the so-called dwarf varieties. These must be watered starting from spring - exactly from March to October - whenever the earth is dry, while winter is considered their rest period. At the end of the cold months, before spring it is advisable to use a slow release granular fertilizer, to be placed at the base of the plants to help them become invigorated and strengthened.
For what concerns pruning, in winter it is advisable to remove damaged or weak parts of the plant. In the summer season it is advisable to do frequent toppings to facilitate the birth of new buds.