News & Events

A lilac in every garden. . . the world over!

News for May 2017

Joan Spiers Memorial
The ILS worked with Spring Grove's main vendor to obtain the cast bronze plaque honoring Joan's dedication and the time she gave to the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  Thanks and gratitude are needed for Maura Giuliani, Richard Hinchcliff and the staff and volunteers at the Central Experimental Farm for their assistance to set Joan's plaque into a boulder and create the plant bed for three lilac
selected, named and registered by Joan and the Central Experimental Farm which are Syringa vulgaris 'Beckwith', S.
 v. 'Franktown' and S. v. 'Dixie'.  View page 11 of the  
Friends of the Farm newsletter to read the article.

Joan Spiers Memorial

News for March 2017

Register now for the ILS Convention.  Registration form, schedule and things to do are also a
vailable on this page.

News for December 2016

Check out a past article, 
Intoxicated by Lilacs, about our member Colin Chapman and his lilac collection.  This was published in Country Life magazine, April 26, 2014.

News for October 2016

Let's Talk Lilacs - 2016 ILS New England Fall Festival
Saturday, October 22, 2016
9:00am - 4:00pm - Free to attend

News for May 2016

Congratulations to our Newly Elected Board Members!
  • Franklin "Woody" Barnes
  • David Gressley
  • Bruce Peart
  • Robert Zavodny
Their term will end in 2019

News for October 2015

Upcoming national workshop on Gene Conservation of Tree Species, May 16 – 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. 

The USDA Forest Service is a main sponsor of this event. We have a great venue, domestic and international partners, and a field trip planned and sponsored by The Morton Arboretum.

This workshop will bring together a mix of land managers, conservation and restoration practitioners, researchers, and non-governmental organizations who share the goal of conserving tree species. More information is available on the attached announcement flyer and at:

News for August 2015

View the article Hotel and Lilacs proposed for Hackett Hill Site, which refers to one of our members John Bentley in his steps with moving forward in creating a botanical park in New Hampshire. 

Congratulations to the new members of the ILS Board of Directors for 2014-2017!
Elected to the ILS Board of Directors to terms ending in 2017 were:
  1. Myra Walberg
  2. John Kirk
  3. Tatiana Poliakova
  4. John Bentley
  5. Frank Moro

News for April 2015

A poignant plea to be kind to lilacs.

Many members have encountered similar vandalism to their lilacs. The following was excerpted from the blog of one of our Russian members, Tatiana Poliakova. View the blog here:

Please note: if you open this link in Google Chrome, you can use Google's translation feature to translate it to the language you so desire.

News for April 2014

Susan Delano McKelvey (1883-1964). Information by and about McKelvey has become available online.  McKelvey’s book, The Lilac: A Monograph (1928), is the starting point for lilac cultivar names.

For an online scan see: 

For archival material concerning McKelvey see:

For a biography of McKelvey see:

Hanburyana document
the paper on Syringa oblata subsp. oblata 'Frank Meyer', a cultivar John Fiala named.
John published the name with the minimal description of it having white flowers.

Lilac Booklets for Sale!
The revised lilac booklet Lilacs; Plants of History-Plants for Tomorrow, 2nd edition is available. This is a great “how to” 24 page guide covering everything from lilac history, to care and maintenance. A heartfelt thanks to the authors John Alexander III and Nan Sinton.

The booklet retails for $4.95, but ILS members may purchase it for the discounted price of $2.00.  Bulk orders (over 50 copies) are available for $1.50 per copy.

Bulk Order S/H (US Only):

  • 50-100 copies - $15.00
  • 101-200 copies - $30.00
  • 201-300 copies - $45.00

Please contact Karen McCauley for additional information and shipping & handling charges at

A lilac in every garden. . . the world over!

Other News:

Support scientific research while enjoying lilacs in your yard!

You are invited to join forces with the USA National Phenology Network and track the timing of flower and leaf events in a cloned lilac, thereby contributing to a historical data set 6 decades long. Individuals such as yourself have been tracking the timing (or phenology) of cloned lilacs across the country since the 1950's. These historical records have been invaluable in documenting how plants are responding to changing climate conditions. Read more
Click here to learn how to get started

Lilac book released

Now available from Timber 
Lilacs: A Gardener's 
By John L. Fiala, Freek 

                                S. vulgaris 'Sensation'

Results of 2014 ILS “Lilac Popularity Poll”

During the 2014 ILS convention, a poll was taken to determine participants' favorite lilacs.  The top five 2014 results are:

1. Syringa vulgaris 'Krasavitsa Moskvy' (Beauty of Moscow)
2. Syringa x hyachinthiflora 'Maiden's Blush'
3. Syringa vulgaris 'Sensation'
4. Syringa vulgaris 'Monge'

Tied for 5th place with 3 votes each
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Albert Holden'
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Nadezdha'
  • Syringa x hyachinthiflora 'Declaration'
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Edward J. Gardner'
  • Syringa x hyachinthiflora  'Sweetheart'
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Charles Joly'
  • Syringa x hyachinthiflora 'Betsy Ross'
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Yankee Doodle'
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Avalanche'
  • Syringa vulgaris 'Frederick Law Olmsted'