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Old March 31, 2007   #1
nctomatoman
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Default Help identifying a Lilac

My grandfather grew a lilac in Rhode Island years ago (it was in the side yard of the tenement that they rented). My dad took a cutting and got it going in their yard about 20 years ago. He then took a cutting and gave it to me about 10 years ago - I moved it around my yard, and finally, about 6 years ago, found a place that it seemed to enjoy. It is already about 7 feet tall, doesn't grow all that dense, doesn't get mildew - and appears to thrive here in NC (rare for lilacs). The flowers are somewhat open clusters that are nearly dark purple, opening to a bit lighter shade - slightly but not overpoweringly fragrant, and nearly doubled (not at all like Miss Kim). A pic is attached - anyone have any idea if it is a named variety? I am thinking of taking a blossom cluster and cutting to the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh for them to evaluate.
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File Type: jpg LilacMarch31_07small.JPG (109.7 KB, 40 views)
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Old April 1, 2007   #2
Sherry_AK
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Sorry I can't help ID the plant, but it is surely a beautiful color. If you do find out, please let us know.
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Old April 2, 2007   #3
flowerpower
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That is a really nice color. If you can get it to the arboretum, they should be able to help you ID it.
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Old April 2, 2007   #4
Rena
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I LOVE lilacs. I grew up with them in Colorado. We had them in every color and shade, but I have not seen one that dark.
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Old April 2, 2007   #5
jungseed
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I showed your picture to our catalog designer. She has extensive knowledge and is used to looking at pictures of flowers. She thought "it appears to be a double red - probably a French Hybrid. Some possibilities are Charles Joly or Paul Thirion." Maybe you can start with those.
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Old April 2, 2007   #6
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Thanks so much. I will do some research, but wonder if your catalog designer has any knowledge of these being around, say, in the 1930s or so.

I just did a Google search - the flower color and shape certainly is similar to Paul Thirion (not Joly) - but the plant is much larger (Thirion is described as compact and topping out at 7 feet - the plant that the scion came from is 10 feet tall and wide at least). Perhaps it is a recent modernization of the type. I will look through some of my old seed catalogs and see what i can find.

Updated - I think I found it

President Poincaire - Double Magenta
Heavy
Over 12’
Mid
Very large flower spikes. Introduced by Lemoine in 1913. Limited supply.

The color, fragrance, and size - and introduction date (and pictures) all seem to make this quite possible. Very cool - 1913!
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Old April 2, 2007   #7
lavandula girl
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The 'Paul Therion' lilacs that I have seen get darker as they fully bloom, and are very heavily scented. The color in your pic is sure close to it, though. I don't know the 'Charles Joly' in person, just from catalogs. Whatever you've got there, it's pretty! No chance it crossed with anything while living in either your Dad's yard or on your property?
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Old April 2, 2007   #8
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Good job!! It sure is a pretty one.
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Old April 2, 2007   #9
carolyn137
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Craig, after you told me about this lilac I took a look and it sure looks like Charles Joly to me and I've grown it. I don't know the introduction date b/c I haven't researched it but it is NOT one of the more modern bred lilacs.

And height shouldn't eliminate a cultivar in my opinion b'c there are so many variables that can influence height.
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Old April 2, 2007   #10
lavandula girl
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I have an old site bookmarked that says the Charles Joly was introduced in 1896. Here's a link:

[URL]http://www.rabbitrunnursery.com/newsspring03.htm[/URL]

Look about 1/2 way down in Lilac Lane
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Old April 11, 2007   #11
feraltomatoes
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I have a Charles Joly in my backyard and it looks just like that. Very good variety, strong stems, strong growth and large flowers even with only a moderate winter.

Brad.
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Old April 11, 2007   #12
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I need one of those. I'll have to check and see if it's hardy enough to grow here (most lilacs do fine).
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Old April 11, 2007   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherry_AK View Post
I need one of those. I'll have to check and see if it's hardy enough to grow here (most lilacs do fine).
It is hardy in your zone. Off hand I don't know of any full size lilacs that aren't hardy to zone 3 .

I don't know what sources you have but I just bought some new lilacs and I refuse to pay the about $15 US that most places are charging for 2 yo bareroot plants and got them for considerably less.
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Old April 12, 2007   #14
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Our local sources are somewhat limited. There are a number of good nurseries in the area (including Anchorage), but sometimes the selection is not the best. And mail order is a crap shoot. Good to know it would be hardy here. It's a beauty!

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