Leaves: Opposite; simple; broad ovate to ovate; 2" to 4" long; deciduous; entire margin; dark green above; gray-green beneath and glabrous; petiole 1/2" to 1" long; yellow to brown fall color.
Twigs/buds: Twigs thinner than for Japanese tree lilac (JTL); glossy; glabrous; brown. Often with no terminal bud; lateral buds round with 4 sets of scales, brown.
Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect; creamy white; held in 6" to 12" long panicles that bloom in early June. Fruit a capsule; curved; 3/4" long; warty; brown.
Bark: With horizontal lenticels like JTL, but bronze or copper color and peeling off in sheets; very attractive.
Wood: No information available.
General: Native of northern China. Small tree. Shade intolerant. A subspecies of Syringa reticulata, though once considered a separate species Syringa pekinensis.
Landscape Use: An outstanding small-sized tree known for its beautiful flowers and also its attractive, peeling bark. Often multi-stemmed. Should be fairly tough, like other lilacs, and relatively insect and disease free; tolerates high pH soils. This tree should be planted more in Utah, and actually lately it seems like it is being planted maybe more than JTL. Zones 3-8.
Cultivars: 'Copper Curls', 'China Snow', 'Beijing Gold', 'Pendula', Yellow Fragrance'.