Syringa vulgaris (lilac or common lilac) is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae, native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hills.
It is a large deciduous shrub or multi-stemmed small tree, growing to 6–7 m high, producing secondary shoots (“suckers”) from the base or roots, with stem diameters of up to 20 cm, which in the course of decades may produce a small clonal thicket. The bark is grey to grey-brown, smooth on young stems, longitudinally furrowed and flaking on older stems. The leaves are simple, 4–12 cm and 3–8 cm broad, light green to glaucous, oval to cordate, with pinnate leaf venation, a mucronate apex and an entire margin. They are arranged in opposite pairs or occasionally in whorls of three. The flowers have a tubular base to the corolla 6–10 mm long with an open four-lobed apex 5–8 mm across, usually lilace to mauve, occasionally white. They are arranged in dense, terminal panicles 8–18 cm long. The fruit is a dry, smooth brown capsule, 1–2 cm long, splitting in two to release the two winged seeds.