Lilac (Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

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Common Name(s): Lilac

Scientific Name: Syringa spp. (Syringa vulgaris)

Distribution: Native to Europe and Asia; cultivated in many temperate areas worldwide

Tree Size: 6-25 ft (2-8 m) tall, 4-8 in (10-20 cm) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 59 lbs/ft3 (945 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .74, .95

Janka Hardness: 2,350 lbf (10,440 N)*

*Estimated hardness based on specific gravity

Modulus of Rupture: No data available

Elastic Modulus: No data available

Crushing Strength: No data available

Shrinkage: Tangential shrinkage is in excess of 10%; reported to have a high level of shrinkage

Color/Appearance: Colors can be variable depending on species. Sometimes seen with reddish or lavender color streaks throughout the heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Slightly interlocked grain, with a very fine texture. Good natural luster.

Endgrain: Semi-ring-porous; small to medium earlywood pores and small latewood pores, very numerous; pores can sometimes be exclusively solitary, or a mix of solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; growth rings usually distinct; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing fairly close; parenchyma absent.

Rot Resistance: No official reports available.

Workability: Reported to be an excellent turning wood. Tends to distort and develop end-checks during drying.

Odor: Lilac has a distinct, floral scent when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: There have been no adverse health effects associated with Lilac. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Due to its small size (typically only a shrub or bush), Lilac is not considered a woodworking lumber, and is never commercially harvested. Small pieces may be occasionally available from through hobbyist and other small-scale channels.

Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses: Occasionally used for small turned projects such as pens and bowls, as well as carved items.

Comments: In the Oleaceae family, Lilac bears at least a distant relation to Olive. Not to be confused with Chinaberry, which is an unrelated species that is sometimes referred to as “Persian Lilac.”

Related Species:

None available.


Lilac (Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

Lilac (sanded)

Lilac (sealed)

Lilac (sealed)

Lilac (endgrain)

Lilac (endgrain)

Lilac (endgrain 10x)

Lilac (endgrain 10x)