Syringa vulgaris ‘Monge’ (Lemoine 1913) – One of the most highly sought after French lilacs with large fragrant clusters of deep reddish-purple single flowers from April into May. ‘Monge’ is a consistent bloomer from year to year and has dark green heart-shaped deciduous foliage. Prune in spring after flowering has finished. Grows 8-12′ tall by 6-8′ wide. Zone 3.
Syringa vulgaris ‘Wedgewood Blue’ (Father Fiala 1981) – This cross of Syringa ‘Rochester’ and Syringa ‘ Mrs. A Belmont’ features 8″ long flower panicles of fragrant pale lavender-blue blooms from mid to late spring. ‘Wedgewood Blue’ is also a more compact growing shrub, making it a good choice for large containers. Grows 6-8′ high by 4-6′ wide. Zone 3.
Syringa vulgaris ‘Paul Thirion’ (Lemoine 1915) Bred by the famous French horticulturist Victor Lemoine, this lilac features double purplish-pink, highly fragrant blooms that emerge from deep reddish-pink buds from mid to late spring. The flowers stand out well from the dark green heart-shaped foliage. Deadhead the faded blooms. Grows 8-12′ high by 6-8′ wide. Zone 3.
Syringa vulgaris ‘Madame Lemoine’ (Lemoine 1890) – This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner is well over a hundred years old and yet it is still one of the the most popular white French lilacs. ‘Madame Lemoine’ features intensely fragrant clusters of pure white double flowers emerging in May from greenish-yellow buds. Grows 8 to 10′ high. Hardy to zone 3.
Syringa vulgaris ‘President Poincare’ (Lemoine 1913) – Another classic French lilac with heavily scented panicles of violet-lavender double flowers from mid to late spring. As with all Syringa vulgaris, it prefers a slightly alkaline soil so it’s best to incorporate a little lime at planting time in coastal BC, where the pH is usually acidic. Grows 8-10′ high by 6-8′ wide. Hardy to zone 3.