International Register & Checklist of Cultivar Names for the Genus Syringa L.

Botanical nomenclature is the naming of plants and the related principles and rules. It assures multiple names are not given to the same plant and requires the ability to distinguish between minor nuances in hybridizations. The Registrar must be capable of this expertise.

The ILS will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in May 2021. The ILS applied for the privilege of being the ICRA for Syringa L. in January 2019. The ISHS granted the approval of our application on April 15, 2019. The ILS accepted this appointment with honor and dignity. We will strive to continue the work of Freek Vrugtman, Registrar Emeritus, and the Royal Botanical Gardens of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with the goal of bringing the Registry of Lilac Cultivars into the future with special attention to accessibility by the general public.

This Registry of the Genus Syringa L. is now being published on the International Lilac Society (ILS) website at: with newly registered cultivars to be printed in the planned Journal of Cultivated Plant Diversity, and sometimes also in Lilacs, the quarterly journal for the International Lilac Society. Dr. Mark DeBard is the current Registrar, replacing Freek Vrugtman whose 44-year tenure ended with his retirement in May 2019. Mark has been preparing for this position for the last few years, under the guidance of Freek Vrugtman. Mark is a retired Emergency Physician, living in Columbus, Ohio, USA. He has published research articles on numerous topics dealing with lilacs: “Development of the Genus Syringa (lilac) New Color System”, in LILACS Volume 48 Number 2 Spring 2019; “2019: An Updated Taxonomy of Genus Syringa”, accepted for publication in LILACS Volume 48, Number 4 Fall 2019, and “Variegated and Golden Lilacs”, presented at the International Syringa Conference at the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia May 2018, and published as the International Scientific and Practical Conference “INTERNATIONAL SYRINGA 2018”. Moscow, St. Petersburg, May 21-27, 2018 /Ed. Chub V.V. 2018. He has also finished a revision to the 1956 “Lilac Study: A Four-Year Study at Lilacia Park, The Morton Arboretum, Etc.” By Joseph Dvorak Jr., re-edited by John L. Fiala in 1978, by Owen Rogers in 1992, and now in 2019 by Mark L. DeBard, MD. It is now a more clearly read document, while still being true to the original version, and is available on the ILS website.

I anticipate that this Syringa Register and Checklist will be a benefit to all who access and use it. I know that Dr. DeBard will be unbiased to all who submit new cultivars for registration and inclusion in future editions, making sure new cultivars are true to the Genus Syringa L., keeping the legacy of the lilac, in sight and fragrance, deep in our memories.

Dr. Robert A. Zavodny
President International Lilac Society