Way back in December 2010 I picked out a new repeat-flowering lilac from America as likely to be one of the top newcomers for 2012. It’s now available here in Britain.
Syringa Bloomerang (‘Penda’) (left, click to enlarge) makes a strong-growing plant about 5ft/1.5 high and as much across with a bushy, rounded habit and foliage which is smaller and neater than that of the more familiar larger lilacs. This lilac is more manageable and more adaptable.
Flowering begins in late spring and continues through to late summer – quite different from the two or three week burst of so many lilacs. There may be a period after the first flush when flowering eases off a little, but blooming soon kicks in again. Regular dead heading will help ensure the most prolific display. Each flower head is about 4in/10cm tall and 3in/7.5cm across and may contain over 250 individual flowers, each well scented and slightly bluish lavender purple in colour.
So while the flower heads are much smaller than those of traditional lilacs, the number of flowers and their long season more than compensates.
Happiest in full sun and fertile but well-drained soil, another useful feature of Bloomerang is that it’s more resistant to soil born diseases and mildew than others of this type.
Bloomerang is a form of Syringa pubescens subsp. microphylla and is a seedling of Josee (‘Morjos 060f’) selected by Tim Wood at Spring Meadow Nursery in Michigan.
You can order Syringa Bloomerang from Thompson and Morgan and also from Van Meuwen.