Lilac is an upright deciduous shrub that grows 8-15 feet tall and 6-12 feet wide. The bark is light-gray and smooth, becoming finely shredded with age. The stems are stout, and have small raised lenticels. The leaves are dark green, opposite, simple, and deciduous. They have an ovate to heart shape, entire margins, and are 2-5 inches long. The flowers are borne in terminal panicles 4-8 inches long. The flowers range from light purple to pink or even white, with a diameter of about 0.4 inch. The fruits are dry brown capsules, 0.5 inch long.
DuPage County Notes
This familiar European shrub is not thought to spread other than vegetatively, so its presence generally is taken to indicate a former home site.